The Fall in Private Pension Coverage in the U.S.
This study documents the 1980s fall in pension coverage and shows that it was concentrated most heavily on men, especially on the young and less educated. We find evidence that changes in real earnings and deunionization account for a sizeable portion of the fall in pension coverage. By contrast, we find little evidence that pension coverage fell because of a twist away from pensions in the tradeoff between pensions and other forms of compensation. With the possible exception of changes in the tax deductibility of contributions to individual retirement accounts, we also find little evidence that pension coverage declined because of institutional changes that reduced the attractiveness of pensions to employees or employers.