NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Why are Retirement Rates So High at Age 65?

Robin L. Lumsdaine, James H. Stock, David A. Wise

NBER Working Paper No. 5190
Issued in July 1995
NBER Program(s):   AG   LS

In most data sets of labor force participation of the elderly, an empirical regularity that emerges is that retirement rates are particularly high at age 65. While there are numerous economic reasons why individuals may choose to retire at 65, empirical models that have attempted to explain the age-65 spike have met with limited success. Interpreted another way, while many models would predict a jump in the hazard rate at age 65, the magnitude of the spike indicates excessive response given the economic considerations that retirees typically face. This paper considers the puzzle of why retirement rates are so high at age 65 and explores a variety of explanations.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w5190

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