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Incentive Effects of Social Security on Labor Force Participation: Evidence in Germany and Across Europe

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  • Axel Borsch-Supan

Abstract

All across Europe, old age labor force participation has declined dramatically during the last decades. This secular trend coincides with population aging. The European social security systems therefore face a double threat: retirees receive pensions for a longer time while there are less workers per retiree to shoulder the financial burden of the pension systems. This paper shows that a significant part of this problem is homemade: most European pension systems provide strong incentives to retire early. The correlation between the force of these incentives with old age labor force participation is strongly negative. The paper provides qualitative and econometric evidence for the strength of the incentive effects on old age labor supply across Europe and for the German public pension program.

Suggested Citation

  • Axel Borsch-Supan, 1998. "Incentive Effects of Social Security on Labor Force Participation: Evidence in Germany and Across Europe," NBER Working Papers 6780, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6780
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    Cited by:

    1. Vendrik, M.C.M. & Cörvers, F., 2009. "Male and female labour force participation: the role of dynamic adjustments to changes in labour demand, government policies and autonomous trends," Research Memorandum 036, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    2. Arnds, Pascal & Bonin, Holger, 2002. "Frühverrentung in Deutschland: Ökonomische Anreize und institutionelle Strukturen," IZA Discussion Papers 666, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Börsch-Supan, Axel, 2002. "Eine Blaupause für eine nachhaltige Rentenreform in Deutschland," MEA discussion paper series 02001, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    4. Darby, Julia & Hart, Robert A. & Vecchi, Michela, 2001. "Labour force participation and the business cycle: a comparative analysis of France, Japan, Sweden and the United States," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 113-133, April.
    5. Alejandra Cox Edwards & Estelle James, 2010. "Impact of Social Security Reform on Labor Force Participation Rates of Pensioners and Nonpensioners: Evidence from Chile," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(2), pages 130-172.
    6. Estelle James & Alejandra Cox Edwards, 2005. "Do Individual Accounts Postpone Retirement: Evidence from Chile," Working Papers wp098, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    7. Börsch-Supan, Axel, 2002. "A Blue Print For Germany’s Pension Reform," MEA discussion paper series 02002, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    8. Börsch-Supan, Axel, 2002. "Nach der Reform ist vor der Reform: Weitere Schritte für eine nachhaltige Reform der Altersvorsorge in Deutschland," MEA discussion paper series 02015, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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