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Retirement Age across Countries: The Role of Occupations


  • Philip Ulrich Sauré
  • Hosny Zoabi


Cross-country variation in average retirement age is usually attributed to institutional differences that affect individuals' incentives to retire. We suggest a different approach. Since workers in different occupations naturally retire at different ages, the composition of occupations within an economy matters for its average retirement age. Using U.S. data we infer the average retirement age by occupation, which we then use to predict the retirement age of 38 countries according to the occupational composition of these countries. Our findings suggest that the differences in occupational composition explain up to 39.2% of the observed cross-country variation in retirement age.

Suggested Citation

  • Philip Ulrich Sauré & Hosny Zoabi, 2012. "Retirement Age across Countries: The Role of Occupations," Working Papers 2012-06, Swiss National Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:snb:snbwpa:2012-06

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Do the Greek retire earlier because of their occupations?
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-07-23 19:43:00


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    Cited by:

    1. Beladi, Hamid & Sinha, Chaitali & Kar, Saibal, 2016. "To educate or not to educate: Impact of public policies in developing countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 94-101.
    2. Joanna Tyrowicz & Krzysztof Makarski & Marcin Bielecki, 2016. "Reforming retirement age in DB and DC pension systems in an aging OLG economy with heterogenous agents," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-36, December.

    More about this item


    Retirement Age; Occupational Distribution; Cross-Country Analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • J82 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Labor Force Composition

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