The Economics of Retirement Behavior
Olivia S. Mitchell, Gary S. Fields
This paper examines the role of economic factors in determining retirement behavior using a unique new data archive on more than 8,700 workers covered by ten different pension plans. We build on our earlier work by estimating several different retirement models including linear as well as discrete choice formulations. This framework provides new insights into how andwhy retirement ages differ across firms. We conclude that older workers' income opportunities differ depending on their pension rules, which in turn have a powerful influence on their retirement patterns. In addition the models indicate that older workers' tastes for income are not uniform,either across individuals or across firms.Finally, we show that retirement age differences are in part due to differences in worker preferences and in part due to differences in income opportunities. There appears to be some evidence of worker sorting across pension plans.
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w1128
Published: Mitchell, Olivia S. and Gary S. Fields. "The Economics of Retirement Behavior." Journal of Labor Economics, Vol. 2, (January 1984), pp. 84-105. citation courtesy of