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Minimum Hours Constraints, Job Requirements and Retirement

  • Alan L. Gustman
  • Thomas L. Steinmeier

A structural retirement model estimated with data from the Health and Retirement Study is used to simulate the effects of policies firms might adopt to improve employment conditions for older workers and thereby encourage delayed retirement. Firm policies that effectively abolished minimum hours constraints would strongly increase the number partially retired, while reducing full time work and full retirement, resulting in only a small net increase in full-time equivalent employment. Reducing physical and mental requirements of jobs would have much weaker effects on retirement than was suggested by work with the 1970s Retirement History Study. Reducing informal pressures to retire, increasing employer accommodations to health problems, and reducing the prevalence of layoffs and retirement windows would have only small effects on retirement outcomes.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10876.

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Date of creation: Nov 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Alan L. Gustman and Thomas L. Steinmeier. "Projecting Behavioral Responses to the Next Generation of Retirement Policies". Research in Labor Economics, Vol. 28, 2008, pp. 141-196.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10876
Note: AG LS
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  1. Gustman, Alan L. & Steinmeier, Thomas L., 2005. "Retirement Effects of Proposals by the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 58(1), pages 27-49, March.
  2. Alan Gustman & Olivia S. Mitchell & Thomas L. Steinmeier, . "Retirement Measures in the Health and Retirement Survey," Pension Research Council Working Papers 94-2, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
  3. Charles Brown, 2002. "Early Retirement Windows," Working Papers wp028, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  4. Chan, Sewin & Stevens, Ann Huff, 2001. "Job Loss and Employment Patterns of Older Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 484-521, April.
  5. William Even & David Macpherson, 2004. "Do Pensions Impede Phased Retirement?," Labor and Demography 0407001, EconWPA.
  6. Steven Haider & David Loughran, 2001. "Elderly Labor Supply: Work or Play?," Working Papers 01-09, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  7. Bound, John, 1989. "The Health and Earnings of Rejected Disability Insurance Applicants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 482-503, June.
  8. Roger H. Gordon & Alan S. Blinder, 1980. "Market wages, reservation wages, and retirement decisions," NBER Chapters, in: Econometric Studies in Public Finance, pages 277-308 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Michael D. Hurd, 1993. "The Effect of Labor Market Rigidities on the Labor Force Behavior of Older Workers," NBER Working Papers 4462, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Joseph F. Quinn, 1999. "Has the Early Retirement Trend Reversed?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 424, Boston College Department of Economics.
  11. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1982. "Minimum Hours Constraints and Retirement Behavior," NBER Working Papers 0940, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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