NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Myth of the Industrial Scrap Heap: A Revisionist View of Turn-of-the- Century American Retirement

Susan B. Carter, Richard Sutch

NBER Historical Working Paper No. 73
Issued in October 1995
NBER Program(s):   DAE

Using the census survival method to calculate net flows across employment states between 1900 and 1910, we find that approximately one-fifth of all men who reached the age of 55 eventually retired before their death. Many of these retirees appear to have planned their withdrawal from paid employment by accumulating assets, becoming self-employed, and then liquidating their assets to provide a stream of income to finance consumption in old age. This `modern' retirement behavior, we argue, has important implications for the economic history of capital and labor markets, of saving and investment, of insurance and pensions, and of the family economy.

download in pdf format
   (1594 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (1594 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/h0073

Published: Carter, Susan B. and Richard Sutch. "Myth Of The Industrial Scrap Heap: A Revisionist View Of Turn-Of-The-Century American Retirement," Journal of Economic History, 1996, v56(1,Mar), 5-38.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Carter and Sutch h0074 Fixing the Facts: Editing of the 1880 U.S. Census of Occupations with Implications for Long-Term Trends and the Sociology of Official Statistics
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us