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Social Security and Retirement around the World: Historical Trends in Mortality and Health, Employment, and Disability Insurance Participation and Reforms - Introduction and Summary

Author

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  • Kevin S. Milligan
  • David A. Wise

Abstract

This is the introduction and summary to the fifth phase of an ongoing project on Social Security Programs and Retirement Around the World. The first phase described the retirement incentives inherent in plan provisions and documented the strong relationship across countries between social security incentives to retire and the proportion of older persons out of the labor force. The second phase documented the large effects that changing plan provisions would have on the labor force participation of older workers. The third phase demonstrated the consequent fiscal implications that extending labor force participation would have on net program costs--reducing government social security benefit payments and increasing government tax revenues. The fourth phase presented analyses of the relationship between the labor force participation of older persons and the labor force participation of younger persons in twelve countries. We found no evidence that increasing the employment of older persons will reduce the employment opportunities of youth and no evidence that increasing the employment of older persons will increase the unemployment of youth. This phase is intended to set the stage for and inform future more formal analysis of disability insurance programs, with this key question: Given health status, to what extent are the differences in LFP across countries determined by the provisions of disability insurance programs? Here we first consider changes in mortality over time and in particular the relationship between mortality and labor force participation, thinking of mortality as one indicator of health that is comparable across countries and over time in the same country. We then consider how mortality is related to other indicators of health status, in particular self-assessed health and then how trends in DI participation are related to changes in health. Finally we consider the effect on disability insurance participation of "natural experiments" in which the disability insurance reforms were not prompted by changes in health status or by changes in the employment circumstances of older workers. We find that these "exogenous" reforms can have a very large effect on the labor force participation of older workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin S. Milligan & David A. Wise, 2011. "Social Security and Retirement around the World: Historical Trends in Mortality and Health, Employment, and Disability Insurance Participation and Reforms - Introduction and Summary," NBER Working Papers 16719, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16719
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    Cited by:

    1. Kevin S. Milligan & David A. Wise, 2012. "Health and Work at Older Ages: Using Mortality to Assess the Capacity to Work across Countries," NBER Working Papers 18229, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Volker Grossmann & Holger Strulik, 2015. "Optimal Social Insurance and Health Inequality," CESifo Working Paper Series 5604, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Andreas Ravndal Kostol & Magne Mogstad, 2014. "How Financial Incentives Induce Disability Insurance Recipients to Return to Work," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(2), pages 624-655, February.
    4. Karen N. Eggleston & Victor R. Fuchs, 2012. "The New Demographic Transition: Most Gains in Life Expectancy Now Realized Late in Life," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 137-156, Summer.
    5. Robert P. Hagemann, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: Part 6. What Are the Best Policy Instruments for Fiscal Consolidation?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 937, OECD Publishing.
    6. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Kleinjans, Kristin J. & Larsen, Mona, 2011. "The Effect of an Acute Health Shock on Work Behavior: Evidence from Different Health Care Regimes," IZA Discussion Papers 5843, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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