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Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World

Reforms and Retirement Incentives

This ninth phase of the International Social Security project, which studies the experiences of twelve developed countries, examines the effects of public pension reform on employment at older ages. In the past two decades, men’s labor force participation at older ages has increased, reversing a long-term pattern of decline; participation rates for older women have increased dramatically as well. While better health, more education, and changes in labor-supply behavior of married couples may have affected this trend, these factors alone cannot explain the magnitude of the employment increase or its large variation across countries.

The studies in this volume explore how financial incentives to work at older ages have evolved as a result of public pension reforms since 1980 and how these changes have affected retirement behavior. Utilizing a common template to analyze the developments across countries, the findings suggest that social security reforms have strengthened the financial returns to working at older ages and that these enhanced financial incentives have contributed to the rise in late-life employment.

Table of Contents


Axel Börsch-Supan and Courtney C. Coile

1. Social Security Incentives in Belgium: An Analysis of Four Decades of Change
Anne-Lore Fraikin, Alain Jousten, and Mathieu Lefebvre

2. Retirement Incentives and Canada’s Social Security Programs
Kevin Milligan and Tammy Schirle

3. Labor Force Exit in Denmark, 1980–2016: Impact from Changes in Incentives
Paul Bingley, Nabanita Datta Gupta, Malene Kallestrup-Lamb, and Peder J. Pedersen

4. Workers’ Employment Rates and Pension Reforms in France: The Role of Implicit Labor Taxation
Didier Blanchet, Antoine Bozio, Simon Rabaté, and Muriel Roger

5. Social Security Reforms and the Changing Retirement Behavior in Germany
Axel Börsch-Supan, Johannes Rausch, and Nicolas Goll

6. The Evolution of Incentives for Retirement in Italy, 1980–2015
Agar Brugiavini, Raluca Elena Buia, Giacomo Pasini, and Guglielmo Weber

7. Social Security Programs and Elderly Employment in Japan
Takashi Oshio, Akiko S. Oishi, and Satoshi Shimizutani

8. Social Security Programs and Employment at Older Ages in the Netherlands
Klaas de Vos, Arie Kapteyn, and Adriaan Kalwij

9. Trends in Employment and Social Security Incentives in the Spanish Pension System, 1980–2016
Pilar García-Gómez, Sílvia Garcia-Mandicó, Sergi Jiménez-Martín, and Judit Vall-Castelló

10. Social Security Reforms and the Changing Retirement Behavior in Sweden
Mårten Palme and Lisa Laun

11. A Lifetime of Changes: State Pensions and Work Incentives at Older Ages in the UK, 1948–2018
James Banks and Carl Emmerson

12. The Evolution of Retirement Incentives in the US
Courtney C. Coile

Author Index
Subject Index

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