What accounts for the striking decline in labor force participation at increasingly younger ages? Social Security and Retirement around the World examines one explanation: social security programs actually provide incentives for early retirement. This volume houses a set of remarkable papers that present information on the social security systems, and labor force participation patterns, in Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
"This book is highly recommended for the serious student of retirement age trends and social security old-age pension policies of industrial nations in a cross-national context." Martin B. Tracy, Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare
“A path-breaking public-policy study. The authors consistently use a new methodology to evaluate the consequences of retirement systems on the behavior of older workers in eleven industrialized countries. In doing so, the book passes a major test of any conference volume the whole greatly exceeds the sum of its parts. This book without question provides the most consistent cross-national analyses of the work disincentives of retirement programs ever produces. Moreover it will serve as the model for all future efforts of this kind.” Journal of Economics
Even as life expectancy in many countries has continued to increase, social security and similar government programs can provide strong incentives for workers to leave the labor force when they reach the age of eligibility for benefits. Disability insurance programs can also play a significant role in the departure of older workers from the labor force, with many individuals in some countries relying on disability insurance until they are able to enter into full retirement.
The sixth stage of an ongoing research project studying the relationship between social security programs and labor force participation, this volume draws on the work of an eminent group of international economists to consider the extent to which differences in labor force participation across countries are determined by the provisions of disability insurance programs. Presented in an easily comparable way, their research covers twelve countries, including Canada, Japan, and the United States, and considers the requirements of disability insurance programs, as well as other pathways to retirement.
The future of Social Security is troubled, both in the United States and in most other developed countries with aging populations. As improvements in health care and changes in life styles enable retirees to live longer than ever before, the stress on national budgets will increase substantially. In Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World, Jonathan Gruber, David A. Wise, and experts in many countries examine the consequences of reforming retirement benefits in a dozen nations.
Drawing on the work of an international group of noted economists, the editors argue that social security programs provide strong incentives for workers to leave the labor force by retiring and taking the benefits to which they are entitled. By penalizing work, social security systems magnify the increased financial burden caused by aging populations, thus contributing to the insolvency of the system. This book is a model of comparative analysis that evaluates the effects of illustrative policies for countries facing the impending rapid growth of social security benefits. Its insights will help inform one of the most pressing debates.
In nearly every industrialized country, large aging populations and increased life expectancy have placed enormous pressure on social security programs—and, until recently, the pressure has been compounded by a trend toward retirement at an earlier age. With a larger fraction of the population receiving benefits, in coming decades social security in many countries may have to be reformed in order to remain financially viable.
This volume offers a cross-country analysis of the effects of disability insurance programs on labor force participation by older workers. Drawing on measures of health that are comparable across countries, the authors explore the extent to which differences in the labor force are determined by disability insurance programs and to what extent disability insurance reforms are prompted by the circumstances of a country’s elderly population.
Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World represents the second stage of an ongoing research project studying the relationship between social security and labor. In the first volume, Jonathan Gruber and David A. Wise revealed enormous disincentives to continued work at older ages in developed countries. Provisions of many social security programs typically encourage retirement by reducing pay for work, inducing older employees to leave the labor force early and magnifying the financial burden caused by an aging population. At a certain age there is simply no financial benefit to continuing to work.
In this volume, the authors turn to a country-by-country analysis of retirement behavior based on micro-data. The result of research compiled by teams in twelve countries, the volume shows an almost uniform correlation between levels of social security incentives and retirement behavior in each country. The estimates also show that the effect is strikingly uniform in countries with very different cultural histories, labor market institutions, and other social characteristics.
This ninth phase of the International Social Security project, which studies the experiences of twelve developed countries, examines the effects of public pension reform on employment at older ages. In the past two decades, men’s labor force participation at older ages has increased, reversing a long-term pattern of decline; participation rates for older women have increased dramatically as well. While better health, more education, and changes in labor-supply behavior of married couples may have affected this trend, these factors alone cannot explain the magnitude of the employment increase or its large variation across countries.
The studies in this volume explore how financial incentives to work at older ages have evolved as a result of public pension reforms since 1980 and how these changes have affected retirement behavior. Utilizing a common template to analyze the developments across countries, the findings suggest that social security reforms have strengthened the financial returns to working at older ages and that these enhanced financial incentives have contributed to the rise in late-life employment.
In recent years, the retirement age for public pensions has increased across many countries, and additional increases are in progress or under discussion in many more. The seventh stage of an ongoing research project studying the relationship between social security programs and labor force participation, Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: The Capacity to Work at Older Ages explores people’s capacity to work beyond the current retirement age. It brings together an international team of scholars from twelve countries—Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States—to analyze this issue. Contributors find that many—but not all—individuals have substantial capacity to work at older ages. However, they also consider how policymakers might divide gains in life expectancy between years of work and retirement, as well as the main impediments to longer work life. They consider factors that influence the demand for older workers, as well as the evolution of health and disability status, which may affect labor supply from the older population.
Many countries have social security systems that are currently financially unsustainable. Economists and policy makers have long studied this problem and identified two key causes. First, as declining birth rates raise the share of older persons in the population, the ratio of retirees to benefits-paying employees increases. Second, as falling mortality rates increase lifespans, retirees receive benefits for longer than in the past. Further exacerbating the situation, the provisions of social security programs often provide strong incentives to leave the labor force.
Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World offers comparative analysis from twelve countries and examines the issue of age in the labor force. A notable group of contributors analyzes the relationship between incentives to retire and the proportion of older persons in the workforce, the effects that reforming social security would have on the employment rates of older workers, and how extending labor force participation will affect program costs. Dispelling the myth that employing older workers takes jobs away from the young, this timely volume challenges a raft of existing assumptions about the relationship between old and young people in the workforce.
In developed countries, men’s labor force participation at older ages has increased in recent years, reversing a decades-long pattern of decline. Participation rates for older women have also been rising. What explains these patterns, and the differences in them across countries? The answers to these questions are pivotal as countries face fiscal and retirement security challenges posed by longer life-spans.
This eighth phase of the International Social Security project, which compares the social security and retirement experiences of twelve developed countries, documents trends in participation and employment and explores reasons for the rising participation rates of older workers. The chapters use a common template for analysis, which facilitates comparison of results across countries. Using within-country natural experiments and cross-country comparisons, the researchers study the impact of improving health and education, changes in the occupation mix, the retirement incentives of social security programs, and the emergence of women in the workplace, on labor markets. The findings suggest that social security reforms and other factors such as the movement of women into the labor force have played an important role in labor force participation trends.