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How Sticky is Retirement Behavior in the U.S.? Responses to Changes in the Full Retirement Age

Manasi Deshpande, Itzik Fadlon, Colin Gray

NBER Working Paper No. 27190
Issued in May 2020
NBER Program(s):Economics of Aging, Labor Studies, Public Economics

We study how increases in the Social Security full retirement age (FRA) affect benefit claiming and retirement behavior, and specifically the interaction between these two choices. Using Social Security administrative data, we implement complementary research designs of a traditional cohort analysis and a regression-discontinuity design. We find that while increases in the FRA strongly and immediately shift claiming ages, retirement ages exhibit persistent "stickiness" at the old FRA of 65. We use several strategies to explore the likely mechanisms behind the stickiness in retirement, and we find suggestive evidence of a role for employers in individuals' responses to the FRA.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w27190

 
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