nep-age New Economics Papers
on Economics of Ageing
Issue of 2011‒03‒05
five papers chosen by
Claudia Villosio
LABORatorio R. Revelli

  1. Employment Status, Quality of Matching, and Retirement in Korea: Evidence from Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging By Chulhee Lee; Jinkook Lee
  2. Retirement and Subjective Well-Being By Bonsang, Eric; Klein, Tobias J.
  3. The Economy of the Possible: Pensions and Informality in Latin America By Rita Da Costa; Juan Ramón de Laiglesia; Emmanuelle Martínez; Ángel Melguizo
  4. Means-Tested Age Pension and Homeownership: Is There a Link? By Sang-Wook (Stanley) Cho; Renuka Sane
  5. Family Labor Participation and Child Care Decisions: The Role of Grannies By Gema Zamarro

  1. By: Chulhee Lee; Jinkook Lee
    Abstract: This paper explores how and why the probability of retirement differs between self-employed and wage-and-salary workers. It finds self-employed workers are less likely to retire than wage-and-salary ones, and that differences in retirement incomes, health, productivity, job characteristics, and compulsory retirement practices do not explain the disparity. This study suggests that the difference between self-employed and wage-and-salary workers in the quality of matching between the job and the worker (i.e., required and desired amount of work efforts) explains the later retirement of the self-employed. It notes the implications of these findings for labor-force participation at older ages and how policies might boost employment of the elderly.
    Keywords: Retirement, Self-employment, Employment, Aging, Job Flexibility
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2011–01
  2. By: Bonsang, Eric (ROA, Maastricht University); Klein, Tobias J. (Tilburg University)
    Abstract: We provide an explanation for the common finding that the effect of retirement on life satisfaction is negligible. For this we use subjective well-being measures for life and domains of life satisfaction that are available in the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) and show that the effect of voluntary retirement on satisfaction with current household income is negative, while the effect on satisfaction with leisure is positive. At the same time, the effect on health satisfaction is positive but small. Following the life domain approach we then argue that these effects offset each other for an average individual and that therefore the overall effect is negligible. Furthermore, we show that it is important to distinguish between voluntary and involuntary retirement. The effect of involuntary retirement is negative because the adverse effect on satisfaction with household income is bigger, the favorable effect on satisfaction with leisure is smaller, and the effect on satisfaction with health is not significantly different from zero. These results turn out to be robust to using different identification strategies such as fixed effects and first differences estimation, as well as instrumental variables estimation using eligibility ages and plant closures as instruments for voluntary and involuntary retirement.
    Keywords: retirement, subjective well-being, satisfaction measurement
    JEL: J26 J14
    Date: 2011–02
  3. By: Rita Da Costa; Juan Ramón de Laiglesia; Emmanuelle Martínez; Ángel Melguizo
    Abstract: Social protection coverage is quite low in Latin America. This situation, irrespective of the type of pension scheme, represents a challenge for public policy since these low levels of affiliation and irregular contribution histories indicate that pensions will be insufficient in the coming decades. This paper describes the relationship between pension protection and labour informality in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Mexico by income level, using several rounds of national household surveys. Our analysis highlights that labour formality is limited, even among the middle and the high income groups. Correspondingly, coverage rates (measured by contributors or affiliates over workers) range between 10% of the labour force in Bolivia to up to 62% in Chile. 76% of formal workers are covered on average, while coverage among the self-employed in agriculture is below 7%. Based on this prognosis, we discuss some alternative pension reforms.<BR>La couverture des pensions de retraite est relativement faible en Amérique latine. Indépendamment des types de systèmes de retraite, cette situation représente un défi pour les politiques publiques : aussi bien les faibles niveaux d’affiliation que les historiques de contribution irréguliers indiquent que les retraites des décennies à venir seront insuffisantes. Cet article décrit la relation existant entre les systèmes de couverture retraite et le phénomène d’informalité du marché du travail en Bolivie, au Brésil, au Chili et au Mexique, par niveau de revenu, et à partir des données d’enquêtes de ménage. L’analyse souligne le fait que le nombre de travailleurs formels est limité, et ce même parmi les groupes de revenus moyens et élevés. De même, les taux de couverture (mesurés par la proportion de contribuables ou d’affiliés par rapport au nombre total de travailleurs) varient de 10 % pour la force de travail en Bolivie, à 62 % au Chili. 76 % des travailleurs formels sont couverts en moyenne, tandis que parmi les travailleurs indépendants agricoles ce chiffre ne dépasse pas 7 %. En se basant sur ce pronostique, différentes alternatives de réformes de retraites sont examinées.
    Keywords: Latin America, informality, old-age pension, self-employment, pensions de retraite, Amérique latine, informalité, travailleurs indépendants
    JEL: H55 J32 O17
    Date: 2011–01
  4. By: Sang-Wook (Stanley) Cho (School of Economics, The University of New South Wales); Renuka Sane (School of Economics, The University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: Several targeted welfare programs across the world have made owner-occupied housing exempt from the means test, such as the Supplementary Social Income (SSI) in the US and the age pension scheme in Australia. Relatively little is known about the impact of such exemption on household portfolio choice. We study the case of the Australian age pension scheme, and argue that current uncapped exemption may lead to distortionary incentives for very high levels of housing wealth to be sheltered from the means test. We set up a quantitative lifecycle framework, with business and housing investment, borrowing constraints, and wealth inequality, that is able to match a number of key features in the Australian economy. We find that abolishing the current exemption of owner-occupied housing in the assets test increases aggregate output, capital accumulation, and welfare, while lowering housing investment and homeownership. However, removing such distortions, however, does not necessarily imply that all households would be better off. The lowering of other taxes to maintain fiscal balance would result in households at the top of the wealth distribution experiencing a large welfare loss, however the majority of the population would benefit.
    Keywords: means-tested age pension; homeownership; lifecycle model; portfolio choice
    JEL: D31 E21 E62 H3 H55
    Date: 2011–01
  5. By: Gema Zamarro
    Abstract: One of the most significant long term trends in the labor market in most OECD countries has been the increase in the proportion of working mothers. However, not all countries show the same pattern. Countries in Southern Europe (Italy, Greece and Spain) show an average participation rate of about 45% whereas the participation rates in Northern countries (Denmark, Sweden) are around 75%. The characteristics of child care systems also differ significantly across OECD countries. This along with the characteristics of the labor market may have led families to get the necessary social services in an alternative way, i.e. through grandmothers. This paper analyzes how and to what extent child care is provided by grandmothers and how this task is combined with paid work in 10 European countries. Moreover, it studies whether the child care provided by grandmothers is encouraging the labor participation of their sons and, especially, their daughters. For this aim, it uses a sample drawn from the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) which provides detailed information about grandmothers (the units of observation) as well as their offspring with children. The econometric model considered takes into account the simultaneity of labor market decisions and care-giving activities, while controlling for unobserved heterogeneity in care-giving decisions. Here it exploits the fact that, information about multiple offsprings with children is usually available for each grandmother. It finds a negative and very significant effect of participating in the labor market on the probability of taking care of the grandchildren on a regular basis. It also finds evidence that, for some countries, the child care provided by grandmothers has a positive effect on the labor participation of their daughters.
    Keywords: Binary choice, Female labor participation, Child care decisions, Simultaneous estimation, Panel data
    JEL: J13 J21 C30
    Date: 2011–01

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