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Firm-Level Policy Toward Older Workers

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  • Olivia S. Mitchell
  • Rebecca A. Luzadis

Abstract

This paper focuses on one aspect of long-term labor contracts -- employer-provided pensions -- in order to develop a better understanding of how such contracts affect employment patterns of older workers. Pensions are one of the few elements of the employment package which explicitly describe long term agreements between workers and their employers; consequently they offer a unique opportunity to study these agreements. The present paper combines labor supply and contract theory to examine pension responses to changes in taxes, Social Security benefits, and the federal government's recent decision to lift the age of mandatory retirement. Evidence on a longitudinal sample of pension plans from 1960 to the present suggests:(1) During the 1960-70 period, Social Security increases generated changes in pensions favoring early retirement; and (2) During the 1970-80 period, some plans reduced private pension benefits in response to the raising of the mandatory retirement age.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivia S. Mitchell & Rebecca A. Luzadis, 1985. "Firm-Level Policy Toward Older Workers," NBER Working Papers 1579, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1579
    Note: LS PE
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w1579.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1984. "Partial Retirement and the Analysis of Retirement Behavior," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 37(3), pages 403-415, April.
    2. Edward P. Lazear, 1984. "Social Security and Pensions," NBER Working Papers 1322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-1284, December.
    4. Gary S. Fields & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1984. "Retirement, Pensions, and Social Security," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262060914, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mitchell, Olivia S, 1988. "Worker Knowledge of Pension Provisions," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(1), pages 21-39, January.

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