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The Impact of Age Pension Eligibility Age on Retirement and Program Dependence: Evidence from an Australian Experiment

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  • Kadir Atalay
  • Garry F. Barrett

Abstract

Identifying the effect of the financial incentives created by social security systems on the retirement behaviour of individuals requires exogenous variation in program parameters. In this paper we study the 1993 Australian Age Pension reform which increased the eligibility age for women to access the social security benefit. We find economically significant responses to the increase in the Age Pension eligibility age. An increase in the eligibility age of 1 year induced a decline in retirement probability by approximately 10 percent. In addition, we find that the social security reform induced significant "program substitution." The rise in the Age Pension eligibility age had an unintended consequence of increasing enrolment in other social insurance programs, particularly the Disability Support Pension, which functioned as an alternative source for funding retirement.

Suggested Citation

  • Kadir Atalay & Garry F. Barrett, 2012. "The Impact of Age Pension Eligibility Age on Retirement and Program Dependence: Evidence from an Australian Experiment," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 295, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:295
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lixin Cai & Bob Gregory, 2005. "Unemployment Duration and Inflows onto the Disability Support Pension Program: Evidence from FaCS LDS Data," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 38(3), pages 233-252, September.
    2. Norma B. Coe & Kelly Haverstick, 2010. "Measuring the Spillover to Disability Insurance Due to the Rise in the Full Retirement Age," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2010-20, Center for Retirement Research, revised Dec 2010.
    3. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
    4. Diana Warren, 2008. "Australia's Retirement Income System:Historical Development and Effects of Recent Reforms," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2008n23, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    5. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "The Role of Information and Social Interactions in Retirement Plan Decisions: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 815-842.
    6. Duggan, Mark & Singleton, Perry & Song, Jae, 2007. "Aching to retire? The rise in the full retirement age and its impact on the social security disability rolls," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1327-1350, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Baksa & Zsuzsa Munkacsi, 2016. "Aging, (Pension) Reforms and the Shadow Economy in Southern Europe," Bank of Lithuania Working Paper Series 32, Bank of Lithuania.
    2. Ardito, Chiara, 2017. "Rising Pension Age in Italy: Employment Response and Program Substitution," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201722, University of Turin.
    3. Leinonen, Taina & Laaksonen, Mikko & Chandola, Tarani & Martikainen, Pekka, 2016. "Health as a predictor of early retirement before and after introduction of a flexible statutory pension age in Finland," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 149-157.
    4. Cribb, Jonathan & Emmerson, Carl & Tetlow, Gemma, 2016. "Signals matter? Large retirement responses to limited financial incentives," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 203-212.
    5. Serena Yu, 2016. "Retiree Welfare and the 2009 Pension Increase: Impacts from an Australian Experiment," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 92(296), pages 67-80, March.
    6. Engels, Barbara & Geyer, Johannes & Haan, Peter, 2017. "Pension incentives and early retirement," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 216-231.
    7. Hagen, Johannes, 2016. "What are the Health effects of postponing retirement? An instrumental variable approach," Working Paper Series 2016:11, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    8. Huang, Wei & Zhang, Chuanchuan, 2016. "The Power of Social Pensions," IZA Discussion Papers 10425, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Bönke, Timm & Kemptner, Daniel & Lüthen, Holger, 2016. "Effectiveness of early retirement disincentives: Individual welfare, distributional and fiscal implications," Discussion Papers 2016/2, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    10. Lorenzo Burlon & Montserrat Vilalta-Buf�, 2014. "Technical progress, retraining cost and early retirement," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 963, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    11. Atalay, Kadir & Barrett, Garry F., 2016. "Pension Incentives and the Retirement Decisions of Couples," IZA Discussion Papers 10013, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Songül Tolan, 2017. "The Effect of Partial Retirement on Labor Supply, Public Balances and the Income Distribution: Evidence from a Structural Analysis," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1679, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    13. Welteke, Clara & Geyer, Johannes & Haan, Peter, 2016. "Early retirement eligibility and employment behavior: evidence from a cohort based pension reform," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145783, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    14. repec:eee:hapoch:v1_457 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Cristiano Antonelli, 2017. "The Engines of the Creative Response: Reactivity and Knowledge Governance," Economía: teoría y práctica, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, México, vol. 47(2), pages 9-30, Julio-Dic.
    16. repec:eee:joecag:v:6:y:2015:i:c:p:149-162 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Zhu, Rong, 2016. "Retirement and its consequences for women's health in Australia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 117-125.
    18. Umut Oguzoglu & Cain Polidano & Ha Vu, 2016. "Impacts from Delaying Access to Retirement Benefits on Welfare Receipt and Expenditure: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2016n20, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    19. Ann Barbara Bauer & Reiner Eichenberger, 2018. "Worsening Workers' Health by Lowering Retirement Age: The Malign Consequences of a Benign Reform," CREMA Working Paper Series 2018-02, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    20. repec:bla:econpa:v:36:y:2017:i:1:p:17-31 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Zhu, Rong & He, Xiaobo, 2015. "How does women’s life satisfaction respond to retirement? A two-stage analysis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 118-122.
    22. Lorenzo Burlon & Montserrat Vilalta-Bufí, 2016. "A new look at technical progress and early retirement," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-39, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Retirement; age pension; program substitution;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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