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The Retirement Incentive Effects of Canada's Income Security Programs

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  • Michael Baker
  • Jonathan Gruber
  • Kevin Milligan

Abstract

Like most other developed nations, Canada has a large income security system for retirement that provides significant and widely varying disincentives to work at older ages. Empirical investigation of their effects has been hindered by lack of appropriate data. We provide an empirical analysis of the retirement incentives of the Canadian Income Security (IS) system using a new and comprehensive administrative data base. We find that the work disincentives inherent in the Canadian IS system have large and statistically significant impacts on retirement. This suggests that program reform can some play a role in responses to the fiscal crises these programs periodically experience. We also demonstrate the importance of controlling for lifetime earnings in retirement models. Specifications without these controls overestimate the effects of the IS system. Finally, our estimates vary in sensible ways across samples lending greater confidence to our estimates.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2001. "The Retirement Incentive Effects of Canada's Income Security Programs," NBER Working Papers 8658, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8658
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael Baker, 2002. "The Retirement Behavior of Married Couples: Evidence from the Spouse's Allowance," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(1), pages 1-34.
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    3. Jonathan Gruber, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement in Canada," NBER Chapters,in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 73-99 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. James E. Pesando & Morley Gunderson, 1988. "Retirement Incentives Contained in Occupational Pension Plans and Their Implications for the Mandatory Retirement Debate," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 21(2), pages 244-264, May.
    5. Janice Compton, "undated". "Determinants of Retirement: Does Money Really matter?," Working Papers-Department of Finance Canada 2001-02, Department of Finance Canada.
    6. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1999. "Early Retirement Provisions and the Labor Force Behavior of Older Men: Evidence from Canada," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 724-756, October.
    7. Stock, James H & Wise, David A, 1990. "Pensions, the Option Value of Work, and Retirement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1151-1180, September.
    8. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Social Security and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 7830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1999. "How do retirement tests affect the labour supply of older men?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 27-51, January.
    10. Sewin Chan & Ann Huff Stevens, 2001. "Retirement Incentives and Expectations," NBER Working Papers 8082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Hausman, J. A. & Abrevaya, Jason & Scott-Morton, F. M., 1998. "Misclassification of the dependent variable in a discrete-response setting," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 239-269, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giesecke, Matthias & Yang, Guanzhong, 2016. "Are financial retirement incentives more effective if pension knowledge is high?," Ruhr Economic Papers 641, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    2. Pierre Fortin, 2003. "Differences in Annual Work Hours per Capita between the United States and Canada," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 6, pages 38-46, Spring.
    3. Bernardo Lanza Queiroz, 2007. "The determinants of male retirement in urban Brazil," Nova Economia, Economics Department, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (Brazil), vol. 17(1), pages 11-36, January-A.
    4. Giesecke, Matthias Nicolas & Yang, Guanzhong, 2016. "The Effect of Financial Incentives on Retirement Decision Making under Different Schemes of Information Provision: Experimental Evidence," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145548, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Bernardo Lanza Queiroz & Moema Gonçalves Bueno Figoli, 2011. "Population aging and the rising costs of public pension in Brazil," Textos para Discussão Cedeplar-UFMG td438, Cedeplar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.
    6. Ross Finnie & David Gray & Yan Zhang, 2013. "Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) Status Amongst the Retired Population: An Analysis of the Incidence," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 39(s1), pages 65-80, May.
    7. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan & Pierre-Carl Michaud, 2011. "The Recent Evolution of Retirement Patterns in Canada," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 287, McMaster University.
    8. Martin Hering & Thomas R. Klassen, 2010. "Strengthening Fairness and Funding in the Canada Pension Plan: Is Raising the Retirement Age an Option?," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 263, McMaster University.
    9. Kevin Milligan & Tammy Schirle, 2008. "Improving the Labour Market Incentives of Canada's Public Pensions," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(3), pages 281-304, September.
    10. Doreen Wing Han Au & Thomas F. Crossley & Martin Schellhorn, 2005. "The effect of health changes and long-term health on the work activity of older Canadians," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(10), pages 999-1018.
    11. Verbič, Miroslav & Spruk, Rok, 2011. "Aging population and public pensions: theory and evidence," MPRA Paper 38914, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Michael R. Veall, 2006. "The Top Shares of Older Earners in Canada," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 156, McMaster University.
    13. Fabio Pammolli & Pietro Rizza & Nicola Carmine Salerno, 2004. "Regole pensionistiche e incentivi al prolungamento della vita lavorativa: analisi del caso italiano," Working Papers CERM 06-2004, Competitività, Regole, Mercati (CERM).
    14. Ashok Thomas & Luca Spataro, 2016. "The Effects Of Pension Funds On Markets Performance: A Review," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 1-33, February.
    15. Latif, Ehsan, 2011. "The impact of retirement on psychological well-being in Canada," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 373-380, August.
    16. Asch, Beth & Haider, Steven J. & Zissimopoulos, Julie, 2005. "Financial incentives and retirement: evidence from federal civil service workers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 427-440, February.
    17. Susan A. McDaniel, 2003. "Toward Disentangling Policy Implications of Economic and Demographic Changes in Canada's Aging Population," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 29(4), pages 491-509, December.
    18. Frank T. Denton & Byron G. Spencer, 2008. "What is Retirement? A Review and Assessment of Alternative Concepts and Measures," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 231, McMaster University.
    19. Fabio Pammolli & Nicola Carmine Salerno, 2004. "Regole pensionistiche e prolungamento dell'attività: analisi del TIR e effetti del cumulo lavoro-pensione," Working Papers CERM 07-2004, Competitività, Regole, Mercati (CERM).
    20. John J. Heim, 2009. "A MethodFor Separating Iincome & Substitution Effects Of Exchange Rate Changes On Aggregate Demand," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0901, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
    21. Dimitri Mortelmans & Jorre Vannieuwenhuyze, 2013. "The age-dependent influence of self-reported health and job characteristics on retirement," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 58(1), pages 13-22, February.
    22. repec:nbr:nberch:14042 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Jeff Borland, 2005. "Transitions to Retirement: A Review," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2005n03, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    24. Bagis, Bilal, 2017. "Macroeconomic Implications of Changes in Social Security Rules," MPRA Paper 84051, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor

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