NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Anil Kumar

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Working Papers

August 2006Employer Matching and 401(k) Saving: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study
with Gary V. Engelhardt: w12447
Employer matching of employee 401(k) contributions can provide a powerful incentive to save for retirement and is a key component in pension-plan design in the United States. Using detailed administrative contribution, earnings, and pension-plan data from the Health and Retirement Study, this analysis formulates a life-cycle-consistent econometric specification of 401(k) saving and estimates the determinants of saving accounting for non-linearities in the household budget set induced by matching. The participation estimates indicate that an increase in the match rate by 25 cents per dollar of employee contribution raises 401(k) participation by 3.75 to 6 percentage points, and the estimated elasticity of participation with respect to matching ranges from 0.02-0.07. The parametric and se...

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