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Too Old to Work, Too Young to Retire?

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  • Andrea Ichino
  • Guido Schwerdt
  • Rudolf Winter-Ebmer
  • Andrea Ichino

Abstract

We study whether employment prospects of old and young workers differ after a plant closure. Using Austrian administrative data, we show that old and young workers face similar displacement costs in terms of employment in the long-run, but old workers lose considerably more initially and gain later. We interpret these findings using a search model with retirement as an absorbing state, that we calibrate to match the observed patterns. Our finding is that the dynamics of relative employment losses of old versus young workers after a displacement are mainly explained by different opportunities of transition into retirement. In contrast, differences in layoff rates and job offer arrival rates cannot explain these patterns. Our results support the idea that retirement incentives, more than weak labor demand, are responsible for the low employment rates of older workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Ichino & Guido Schwerdt & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Andrea Ichino, 2013. "Too Old to Work, Too Young to Retire?," NRN working papers 2013-09, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  • Handle: RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2013_09
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    Cited by:

    1. Mario Schnalzenberger & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2008. "Layoff Tax and the Employment of the Elderly," NRN working papers 2008-04, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    2. Peter Huber & Michael Pfaffermayr, 2007. "The Anatomy of the Firm Size Distribution: The Evolution of its Variance and Skewness," WIFO Working Papers 295, WIFO.
    3. Narazani, Edlira & Shima, Isilda, 2009. "Labour incentive reforms in pre-retirement age in Austria," EUROMOD Working Papers EM1/09, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    4. A. Zaiceva, 2007. "East-West migration and gender: Is there a "double disadvantage" vis-à-vis stayers?," Working Papers 608, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    5. Emilia Del Bono & Andrea Weber & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2012. "Clash Of Career And Family: Fertility Decisions After Job Displacement," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 659-683, August.
    6. Lehmann, Hartmut & Muravyev, Alexander & Razzolini, Tiziano & Zaiceva, Anzelika, 2010. "The Costs of Job Loss in Russia," IZA Discussion Papers 5415, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Ichino, Andrea & Schwerdt, Guido & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Zweimüller, Josef, 2017. "Too old to work, too young to retire?," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 9(C), pages 14-29.
    8. Francisca Bremberger & Rudolf Hochholzer & Peter Huber, 2016. "Labour Turnover, Employment Density and Employer Provided Training: Evidence from Vienna," European Journal of Business Science and Technology, Mendel University in Brno, Faculty of Business and Economics, vol. 2(1), pages 5-22, November.
    9. Jochen Michaelis & Martin Debus, 2011. "Wage and (un-)employment effects of an ageing workforce," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(4), pages 1493-1511, October.
    10. Boockmann, Bernhard & Fries, Jan & Göbel, Christian, 2012. "Specific measures for older employees and late career employment," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-059, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    11. Manuella Baraton & Magali Beffy & Denis Fougère, 2011. "Une évaluation de l’effet de la réforme de 2003 sur les départs en retraite. Le cas des enseignants du second degré public," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 441(1), pages 55-78.
    12. Tatsiramos, Konstantinos, 2010. "Job displacement and the transitions to re-employment and early retirement for non-employed older workers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 517-535, May.
    13. Lehmann, Hartmut & Muravyev, Alexander & Razzolini, Tiziano & Zaiceva, Anzelika, 2013. "The wage and non-wage costs of displacement in boom times: Evidence from Russia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 1184-1201.
    14. Ichino, Andrea & Schwerdt, Guido & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Zweimüller, Josef, 2013. "Too Old to Work, Too Young to Retire? Revised Version of Working Paper 220, Economics Series, October 2007," Economics Series 302, Institute for Advanced Studies.
    15. Isilda Mara & Edlira Narazani, 2011. "Labour-incentive reforms at preretirement age in Austria," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 38(4), pages 481-510, November.
    16. Schwerdt, Guido, 2011. "Labor turnover before plant closure: "Leaving the sinking ship" vs. "Captain throwing ballast overboard"," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 93-101, January.
    17. Tibor Hanappi, 2012. "Retirement Behaviour in Austria: Incentive Effects on Old-Age Labor Supply," NRN working papers 2012-13, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    18. H. Lehmann & A. Muravyev & T. Razzolini & A. Zaiceva, 2011. "The Wage and Non-wage Costs of Displacement: Evidence from Russia," Working Papers wp734, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    19. Meekes, Jordy & Hassink, Wolter, 2017. "The Role of the Housing Market in Workers' Resilience to Job Displacement after Firm Bankruptcy," IZA Discussion Papers 10894, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    20. Zaiceva, Anzelika, 2010. "East-West migration and gender: Is there a differential effect for migrant women?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 443-454, April.
    21. Schnalzenberger, Mario & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2009. "Layoff tax and employment of the elderly," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 618-624, December.
    22. Schwerdt, Guido & Ichino, Andrea & Ruf, Oliver & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Zweimüller, Josef, 2010. "Does the color of the collar matter? Employment and earnings after plant closure," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 137-140, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Aging; Employability; Plant Closures; Matching;

    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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