The Effects of Health, Wealth and Wages on Labor Supply and Retirement Behavior
This paper analyzes the effects of wages and the Social Security System on labor supply over the life cycle. I present a model of labor supply and retirement behavior that includes a saving decision, uncertainty, and a non-negativity constraint on assets. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, I estimate life cycle profiles for labor force participation rates, hours worked, and assets. Using the Method of Simulated Moments, I match the estimated profiles to profiles simulated by a dynamic structural model. Estimated parameters produce simulated profiles that match many aspects of the estimated profiles, including the high job exit rates at ages 62 and 65. Simulations suggest that a 20% reduction in Social Security benefits would cause individuals to delay job exit from the labor market in order to develop sufficient financial assets, increasing labor force participation rates from 28% to 35 % at age 62.
Social security ; Labor supply ; Retirement ; Wealth
This paper estimates a life cycle model of labor supply, retirement and savings behavior in which future health status and wages are uncertain. Individuals face a fixed cost of work and cannot borrow against future labor, pension, or Social Security income. The method of simulated moments is used to match the life cycle profiles of labor force participation, hours worked, and assets that are estimated from the data to those that are generated by the model. The model establishes that the tax structure of the Social Security system and pensions are the key determinants of the high observed job exit rates at ages 62 and 65. Removing the tax wedge embedded in the Social Security earnings test for individuals aged 65 and older would delay job exit by almost one year. By contrast, Social Security benefit levels, health, and borrowing constraints are less important determinants of job exit at older ages. For example, reducing Social Security benefits by 20% would cause workers to delay exit from the labor force by only three months
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