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Efficient Windows and Labor Force Reduction

Author

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  • Robin L. Lumsdaine
  • James H. Stock
  • David A. Wise

Abstract

Recently many U.S. firms have offered "window" plans that provide bonuses to a group of workers if the worker retires within a specified short time span. This paper examines a window plan at a Fortune 500 firm, and addresses two main issues. First, what was the effect of the window plan on departures? Second, assuming a variety of possible firm objectives, what would be the design of an efficient window plan? These questions are addressed using the retirement model in Stock and Wise [1988a, 1988b] . The model, estimated using data for an earlier year, predicts well out-of-sample the subsequent large increase in retirements under the window plan. We find that while the firm successfully maximized departures, if its goal was to minimize either expected future wage payments or the current cost per induced retirement, the firm could have saved more with efficient plans constructed using the model. One interpretation is that the firm was primarily interested in reducing the overall size of the labor force or in retiring older employees to allow promotion of younger employees.

Suggested Citation

  • Robin L. Lumsdaine & James H. Stock & David A. Wise, 1990. "Efficient Windows and Labor Force Reduction," NBER Working Papers 3369, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3369
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard V. Burkhauser, 1979. "The Pension Acceptance Decision of Older Workers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(1), pages 63-75.
    2. Jeanne M. Hogarth, 1988. "Accepting an Early Retirement Bonus an Empirical Study," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(1), pages 21-33.
    3. Olivia S. Mitchell & Gary S. Fields, 1981. "The Effects of Pensions and Earnings on Retirement: A Review Essay," NBER Working Papers 0772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & David A. Wise, 1985. "Labor Compensation and the Structure of Private Pension Plans: Evidence for Contractual versus Spot Labor Markets," NBER Chapters,in: Pensions, Labor, and Individual Choice, pages 55-88 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jeremy I. Bulow, 1981. "Early Retirement Pension Benefits," NBER Working Papers 0654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & David A. Wise, 1989. "Employee Retirement and a Firm's Pension Plan," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Aging, pages 279-334 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & David A. Wise, 1987. "The Incentive Effects of Private Pension Plans," NBER Chapters,in: Issues in Pension Economics, pages 283-340 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-1284, December.
    9. Zvi Bodie & John B. Shoven & David A. Wise, 1987. "Issues in Pension Economics," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bodi87-1, June.
    10. Gary S. Fields & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1984. "Retirement, Pensions, and Social Security," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262060914, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 2004. "Social security, pensions and retirement behaviour within the family," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 723-737.
    2. Gustman, Alan L. & Steinmeier, Thomas L., 2015. "Effects of social security policies on benefit claiming, retirement and saving," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 51-62.
    3. Robin L. Lumsdaine & James H. Stock & David A. Wise, 1996. "Why Are Retirement Rates So High at Age 65?," NBER Chapters,in: Advances in the Economics of Aging, pages 61-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1994. "Retirement in a Family Context: A Structural Model for Husbands and Wives," NBER Working Papers 4629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Alan L. Gustman & Olivia S. Mitchell & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1993. "The Role of Pensions in the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 4295, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti, 2004. "The Transition to Personal Accounts and Increasing Retirement Wealth: Macro- and Microevidence," NBER Chapters,in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 17-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Robin L. Lumsdaine & James H. Stock & David A. Wise, 1992. "Pension Plan Provisions and Retirement: Men & Women, Medicare, and Models," NBER Working Papers 4201, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Robin L. Lumsdaine & James H. Stock & David A. Wise, 1992. "Three Models of Retirement: Computational Complexity versus Predictive Validity," NBER Chapters,in: Topics in the Economics of Aging, pages 21-60 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Arjan Heyma, 2004. "A structural dynamic analysis of retirement behaviour in the Netherlands," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 739-759.
    10. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1994. "Employer-Provided Health Insurance and Retirement Behavior," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(1), pages 124-140, October.
    11. Alan L. Gustman & F. Thomas Juster, 1995. "Income and Wealth of Older American Households: Modeling Issues for Public Policy Analysis," NBER Working Papers 4996, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Daniel Hallberg & Matias Eklöf, 2010. "Do buy-outs of older workers matter?: Estimating retirement behavior with special early retirement offers," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 337-359, June.
    13. Robin L. Lumsdaine & James H. Stock & David A. Wise, 1996. "Retirement Incentives: The Interaction between Employer-Provided Pensions, Social Security, and Retiree Health Benefits," NBER Chapters,in: The Economic Effects of Aging in the United States and Japan, pages 261-293 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Phillip B. Levine & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1991. "Expected Changes in the Workforce and Implications for Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 3743, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Leora Friedberg & Michael T. Owyang, 2004. "Explaining the evolution of pension structure and job tenure," Working Papers 2002-022, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    16. Charles Brown, "undated". "Early Retirement Windows," Pension Research Council Working Papers 98-17, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
    17. David Wise, 1997. "Retirement against the demographic trend: More older people living longer, working less, and saving less?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 34(1), pages 83-95, February.
    18. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pc:p:3261-3307 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. repec:eee:hapoch:v1_457 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Gustman, Alan L & Steinmeier, Thomas L, 2000. "Retirement in Dual-Career Families: A Structural Model," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 503-545, July.
    21. Andrew Samwick & David A. Wise, 2003. "Option Value Estimation with Health and Retirement Study Data," NBER Chapters,in: Labor Markets and Firm Benefit Policies in Japan and the United States, pages 205-228 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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