Long-term Labor Force Exit and Economic Well-being: A Cross-National Comparison of Public and Private Income Support
57 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2008
Date Written: May 1, 2001
Work in the marketplace is the primary source of income for most households in modern industrialized societies. A permanent or even a long-term exit from work by a household's principal earner is therefore a potentially risky economic event. Here we show that social security income (i.e., income from public, industry-wide, insurance-based, retirement and disability programs) is most important for men who exit at older ages in the four countries (Canada, Germany, Great Britain, and the United States) we consider and less so for men who exit at younger ages. Private pension income in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain plays a much more important role in replacing the labor earnings of men who exit at older ages than in Germany. Net-of-tax household income of surviving spouses is in general higher than would be implied by social security replacement rates.
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