NBER Working Papers by Alain Jousten

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Working Papers

April 2014Health Status, Disability and Retirement Incentives in Belgium
with Mathieu Lefebvre, Sergio Perelman: w20035
Many Belgian retire well before the statutory retirement age. Numerous exit routes from the labor force can be identified: old-age pensions, conventional early retirement, disability insurance, and unemployment insurance are the most prominent ones. We analyze the retirement decision of Belgian workers adopting an option value framework, and pay special attention to the role of health status. We estimate probit models of retirement using data from SHARE. The results show that health and incentives matter in the decision to exit from the labor market. Based on these results, we simulate the effect of potential reforms on retirement.
June 2011Disability in Belgium: There is More than Meets the Eye
with Mathieu Lefebvre, Sergio Perelman: w17114
The paper provides a perspective on the development of the Belgian disability insurance system. Using both survey and administrative data, it sketches a picture of the (changing) factors leading towards disability, as well as the outcomes in terms of program participation. The paper shows the key role of integrating other forms of early retirement programs into the analysis. The main findings are an unspectacular trend in the number of DI beneficiaries over time combined with a strong expansion of (early-) retirement schemes.
February 2003Micro-Simulation of Social Security Reforms in Belgium
with Raphael Desmet, Sergio Perelman, Pierre Pestieau: w9494
The present paper analyzes the budgetary impact of various Social Security reforms in the Belgian institutional setting. Our approach relies on parameters that were derived in Dellis et alii (2002) using a micro-modeling strategy. focusing our attention on a hypothetical age cohort, we illustrate the budgetary impact that the reforms considered might have on the budget of the federal government.
August 1999Delays in Claiming Social Security Benefits
with Courtney Coile, Peter Diamond, Jonathan Gruber: w7318
This paper focuses on Social Security benefit claiming behavior, a take-up decision that has been ignored in the previous literature. Using financial calculations and simulations based on an expected utility maximization model, we show that delaying benefit claim for a period of time after retirement is optimal in a wide variety of cases and that gains from delay may be significant. We find that approximately 10% of men retiring before their 62nd birthday delay claiming for at least one year after eligibility. We estimate hazard and probit models using data from the New Beneficiary Data System to test four cross-sectional predictions. While the data suggest that too few men delay, we find that the pattern of delays by early retirees is generally consistent with the hypotheses generated...

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