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The Effect of Labor Market Rigidities on the Labor Force Behavior of Older Workers

  • Michael D. Hurd

Most older workers retire completely from full-time work with no intervening spell of part-time work. This is incompatible with a model of retirement in which tastes for work gradually shift with age toward leisure and hours may be freely chosen. A survey of institutional arrangements such as pensions and Social Security and of normal business practices resulting from fixed costs of employment and team production leads to the conclusion that most workers face rather limited choices consisting of a high-paying year-round job and low-paying part-time work. Therefore, someone approaching retirement who wants to retire gradually from a career type job will have to change jobs, losing job-related skills, and to compete for low-paying, easy entry jobs. Faced with that option most retire completely.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w4462.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4462.

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Date of creation: Sep 1993
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Publication status: published as Advanced in the Economics of Aging, David A. Wise, ed., pp. 11-58, (Chicago The University of Chicago Press, 1996)
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4462
Note: AG
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  1. Brigitte C. Madrian, 1993. "Employment-Based Health Insurance and Job Mobility: Is There Evidence ofJob-Lock?," NBER Working Papers 4476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Blau, David M, 1994. "Labor Force Dynamics of Older Men," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 117-56, January.
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  5. Gustman, Alan L. & Steinmeier, Thomas L., 1993. "Pension portability and labor mobility : Evidence from the survey of income and program participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 299-323, March.
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  7. 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.
  8. Joseph F. Quinn & Richard V. Burkhauser & Daniel A. Myers, 1990. "Passing the Torch: The Influence of Economic Incentives on Work and Retirement," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number pt, June.
  9. 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.
  10. Crawford, Vincent P & Lilien, David M, 1981. "Social Security and the Retirement Decision," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 96(3), pages 505-29, August.
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  12. John Rust, 1987. "A Dynamic Programming Model of Retirement Behavior," NBER Working Papers 2470, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1983. "A Structural Retirement Model," NBER Working Papers 1237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Marjorie Honig & Giora Hanoch, 1985. "Partial Retirement as a Separate Mode of Retirement Behavior," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(1), pages 21-46.
  15. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1981. "Partial Retirement and the Analysis of Retirement Behavior," NBER Working Papers 0763, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Zvi Bodie & John B. Shoven & David A. Wise, 1987. "Issues in Pension Economics," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bodi87-1.
  17. Alan S. Blinder & Roger H. Gordon & Donald E. Wise, 1981. "Social Security, Bequests, and the Life Cycle Theory of Saving: Cross-Sectional Tests," NBER Working Papers 0619, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1982. "Partial Retirement and Wage Profiles of Older Workers," NBER Working Papers 1000, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Michael D. Hurd, 1988. "The Joint Retirement Decision of Husbands and Wives," NBER Working Papers 2803, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. 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.
  21. Olivia S. Mitchell, 1983. "Fringe benefits and the cost of changing jobs," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 37(1), pages 70-78, October.
  22. Berkovec, James & Stern, Steven, 1991. "Job Exit Behavior of Older Men," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 189-210, January.
  23. Burtless, Gary & Moffitt, Robert A, 1985. "The Joint Choice of Retirement Age and Postretirement Hours of Work," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(2), pages 209-36, April.
  24. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & David A. Wise, 1987. "The Incentive Effects of Private Pension Plans," NBER Working Papers 1510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Robert Hutchens, 1988. "Do job opportunities decline with age?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 42(1), pages 89-99, October.
  26. Gary S. Fields & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1984. "Retirement, Pensions, and Social Security," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262060914, June.
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