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The Effect of Social Security, Health, Demography and Technology on Retirement

  • Marcelo Santos


  • Pedro Cavalcanti Ferreira


This article investigates the causes in the reduction of labor force participation of the old. We argue that the changes in social security policy and in technology, and the introduction of Medicare may account for most of the changes in retirement over the second part of the last century in the U.S. economy. We develop a dynamic general equilibrium model with endogenous retirement that embeds social security legislation and Medicare. The model is able to match very closely the increase in the retirement rate of American males and also to reproduce many stylized facts, such as retirement rate by age, by health status and income. We find that changes in social security policy - that became much more generous - account for a sizeable part of the expansion aggregate retirement rate (45% of the observed increase). They also explain, together with Medicare, most of the variation of the retirement profile by age. We found that wealth shocks can influence retirement behavior, so that the strong run-up in stock market in the nineties may have affected the decision of older workers to leave the labor force

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2011 Meeting Papers with number 903.

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Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:903
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA
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