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The Effect of Retirement Incentives on Retirement Behavior Evidence from the Self-Employed In the United States and England

Author

Listed:
  • Julie Zissimopoulos
  • Nicole Maestas
  • Lynn A. Karoly

Abstract

The authors examine how public and private pension and health insurance systems affect retirement transitions. In many countries, public and private pension eligibility, as well as access to health insurance varies between self-employed and wage and salary workers, and these differences are likely to cause differential retirement patterns both within and across countries. They use the variation in these institutional features within and across the United States and England to analyze retirement patterns. Based on longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) in the United States and the English Longitudinal Survey of Ageing (ELSA) they find that the higher labor force exit rate of wage and salary workers compared to self-employed workers is due to defined benefit pension incentives created by the public and private pension systems. Higher rates of labor force exit at ages 55 and older in England compared to the United States are due in part to the availability of publicly provided health insurance.

Suggested Citation

  • Julie Zissimopoulos & Nicole Maestas & Lynn A. Karoly, 2007. "The Effect of Retirement Incentives on Retirement Behavior Evidence from the Self-Employed In the United States and England," Working Papers WR-528, RAND Corporation.
  • Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:wr-528
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Purvi Sevak, 2002. "Wealth Shocks and Retirement Timing: Evidence from the Nineties," Working Papers wp027, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    2. Richard Blundell & Paul Johnson, 1997. "Pensions and Retirement in the UK," NBER Working Papers 6154, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Hurd, Michael D, 1990. "Research on the Elderly: Economic Status, Retirement, and Consumption and Saving," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 565-637, June.
    4. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Introduction to "Social Security and Retirement around the World"," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 1-35, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jonathan Gruber & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2002. "Health Insurance, Labor Supply, and Job Mobility: A Critical Review of the Literature," JCPR Working Papers 255, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    6. Anderson, Patricia M & Gustman, Alan L & Steinmeier, Thomas L, 1999. "Trends in Male Labor Force Participation and Retirement: Some Evidence on the Role of Pensions and Social Security in the 1970s and 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 757-783, October.
    7. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub99-1, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    retirement; self-employment; health insurance; pensions;

    JEL classification:

    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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