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Pension Portability and Labor Mobility: Evidence From the Survey of Income and Program Participation

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  • Alan Gustman
  • Thomas Steinmeier

Abstract

The evidence presented in this paper casts doubt on the proposition that pension backloading is responsible for the low job mobility rates observed for pension covered workers. It corroborates earlier findings by the authors, based on different data, that pension covered jobs offer higher levels of compensation than workers can obtain elsewhere, and it is this compensation premium, rather than non-portability, that accounts for lower turnover among pension covered workers. This evidence is further bolstered by the finding that defined contribution plans, which are not backloaded, and defined benefit plans, bear similar negative relations to mobility.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan Gustman & Thomas Steinmeier, 1990. "Pension Portability and Labor Mobility: Evidence From the Survey of Income and Program Participation," NBER Working Papers 3525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3525
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gibbons, Robert & Katz, Lawrence F, 1991. "Layoffs and Lemons," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(4), pages 351-380, October.
    2. Steven G. Allen & Robert L. Clark & Ann A. McDermed, 1993. "Pensions, Bonding, and Lifetime Jobs," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(3), pages 463-481.
    3. Steven G. Allen & Robert L. Clark & Daniel A. Sumner, 1986. "Postretirement Adjustments of Pension Benefits," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(1), pages 118-137.
    4. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Daniel E. Smith, 1983. "The Structure of Private Pension Plans," NBER Chapters,in: Pensions in the American Economy, pages 163-289 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Olivia S. Mitchell, 1983. "Fringe Benefits and the Cost of Changing Jobs," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 37(1), pages 70-78, October.
    6. repec:fth:prinin:249 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Jeremy I. Bulow, 1982. "What are Corporate Pension Liabilities?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(3), pages 435-452.
    8. Ann P. Bartel & George J. Borjas, 1977. "Middle-Age Job Mobility: Its Determinants and Consequences," NBER Working Papers 0161, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. repec:fth:harver:1439 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Olivia S. Mitchell, 1982. "Fringe Benefits and Labor Mobility," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(2), pages 286-298.
    11. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence Katz, 1989. "Layoffs and Lemons," Working Papers 629, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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