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Government Transfers, Work and Occupational Identity: Evidence from the Russian Old-Age Pension


  • Louise Grogan

    () (African School of Economics (Bénin) and Dept. of Economics and Finance, University of Guelph (Canada))

  • Fraser Summerfield

    (Department of Economics and CELMR, University of Aberdeen (UK); The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis (RCEA), Italy)


This paper examines how the receipt of the age-determined Russian state pension impacts the incomes, working hours, self-reported wellbeing, self-employed home production, and health behaviors of individuals. Household panel data spanning 2006-2011 is employed. Regression discontinuity estimators with individual fixed effects identify the causal impact of attaining state pension age on these outcomes. Attaining pension age has large negative causal impacts on market work hours, but also important positive effects on the self-employment output of women, and negative effects on the non-monetized home production activities of men. No positive impacts are found on any subjective measures of wellbeing or economic security. The results are reconciled by augmenting the standard labor supply theory of Gronau (1977) with new ideas about occupational identities first outlined in Akerlof and Kranton (2000).

Suggested Citation

  • Louise Grogan & Fraser Summerfield, 2014. "Government Transfers, Work and Occupational Identity: Evidence from the Russian Old-Age Pension," Working Paper series 22_14, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:rim:rimwps:22_14

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    1. Bottazzi, Renata & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2006. "Retirement expectations, pension reforms, and their impact on private wealth accumulation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(12), pages 2187-2212, December.
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    9. Juarez Laura, 2010. "The Effect of an Old-Age Demogrant on the Labor Supply and Time Use of the Elderly and Non-Elderly in Mexico," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-27, June.
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    12. Edmonds, Eric, 2002. "Reconsidering the labeling effect for child benefits: evidence from a transition economy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 303-309, August.
    13. Jensen, Robert T. & Richter, Kaspar, 2004. "The health implications of social security failure: evidence from the Russian pension crisis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 209-236, January.
    14. Grogan, Louise & Koka, Katerina, 2013. "Economic crises and wellbeing: Social norms and home production," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 241-258.
    15. Peter Kooreman, 2000. "The Labeling Effect of a Child Benefit System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 571-583, June.
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