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New Evidence on Pensions, Social Security, and the Timing of Retirement

  • Andrew A. Samwick

Using a unique dataset that links the economic and demographic information of households with the details of their pension formulas, I estimate the combined effect of Social Security and pension benefits on the probability of retirement in a cross-section of the population near retirement age. The accrual rate of retirement wealth is shown to be a significant determinant of the probability of retirement. Simulations of extensions in pension coverage comparable to those that occurred in the early postwar period can account for one fourth of the contemporaneous decline in labor force participation rates.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6534.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6534.

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Date of creation: Apr 1998
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 70 (November 1998): 207-236.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6534
Note: AG PE
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  1. Peter Diamond & Jonathan Gruber, 1997. "Social Security and Retirement in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 6097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Olivia S. Mitchell, 1991. "Trends in Pension Benefit Formulas and Retirement Provisions," NBER Working Papers 3744, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Burtless, Gary, 1986. "Social Security, Unanticipated Benefit Increases, and the Timing of Retirement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(5), pages 781-805, October.
  7. Robin L. Lumsdaine & David A. Wise, 1994. "Aging and Labor Force Participation: A Review of Trends and Explanations," NBER Chapters, in: Aging in the United States and Japan: Economic Trends, pages 7-42 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. James H. Stock & David A. Wise, 1988. "The Pension Inducement to Retire: An Option Value Analysis," NBER Working Papers 2660, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. John P. Rust, 1989. "A Dynamic Programming Model of Retirement Behavior," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Aging, pages 359-404 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. Robin L. Lumsdaine & James H. Stock & David A. Wise, 1990. "Three Models of Retirement: Computational Complexity Versus Predictive Validity," NBER Working Papers 3558, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Rebecca A. Luzadis & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1991. "Explaining Pension Dynamics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(4), pages 679-703.
  13. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1990. "Bridge Jobs and Partial Retirement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(4), pages 482-501, October.
  14. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1983. "A Structural Retirement Model," NBER Working Papers 1237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. Alan L. Gustman & Olivia S. Mitchell & Andrew A. Samwick & Thomas L. Steinmeier, . "Pension and Social Security Wealth in the Health and Retirement Study," Pension Research Council Working Papers 97-3, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
  17. Berkovec, James & Stern, Steven, 1991. "Job Exit Behavior of Older Men," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 189-210, January.
  18. 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.
  19. Bloom, David E & Freeman, Richard B, 1992. "The Fall in Private Pension Coverage in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 539-45, May.
  20. 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, December.
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