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The Fall in Private Pension Coverage in the U.S

  • David E. Bloom
  • Richard B. Freeman

This study documents the 1980s fall in pension coverage and shows that it was concentrated most heavily on men, especially on the young and less educated. We find evidence that changes in real earnings and deunionization account for a sizeable portion of the fall in pension coverage. By contrast, we find little evidence that pension coverage fell because of a twist away from pensions in the tradeoff between pensions and other forms of compensation. With the possible exception of changes in the tax deductibility of contributions to individual retirement accounts, we also find little evidence that pension coverage declined because of institutional changes that reduced the attractiveness of pensions to employees or employers.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3973.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3973.

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Date of creation: Jan 1992
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Publication status: Published as "The Fall in Private Pension Coverage in the United States", American Economic Review, Vol. 82, no. 2 (1992): 539-545.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3973
Note: AG LS
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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  1. Blackburn-Mckinley, L. & Bloom, D.E. & Freeman, R.B., 1989. "The Declining Economic Position Of Less-Skilled American Males," Discussion Papers 1989_41, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  2. Douglas L. Kruse, 1991. "Pension Substitution in the 1980s: Why the Shift Toward Defined Contribution Pension Plans?," NBER Working Papers 3882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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