Working Paper

The effects of health, wealth, and wages on labor supply and retirement behavior


Abstract: 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.

Keywords: Labor supply; Wealth; Retirement; Social security;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Part of Series: Working Paper Series

Publication Date: 2000

Number: WP-00-2