The Role of Income Effects in Early Retirement
ECONPUBBLICA Working Paper No. 158
32 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2012
Date Written: June 1, 2011
We provide a long term perspective on the individual retirement behavior and on the future of retirement by emphasizing the role of (negative) income effects. We consider a political economic theoretical framework, with actuarial "fair" and "unfair" early retirement schemes, and derive a political equilibrium with positive social security contribution rates and early retirement. A reduction in the wages in youth, consistent with the recent labor market trends since the massive introduction of temporary jobs, induces workers to postpone retirement, and — in the "unfair" system — leads to lower contribution rates. A reduction in the growth rate of the economy has opposite effects on the retirement decisions, leading — in the "unfair" system — to more early retirement. Aging induces a negative income effect, but has also an opposite political effects on social security contributions and retirement decisions. For an actuarial "fair" social security system, we provide conditions for the political effect to dominate; in an "unfair" scheme, numerical simulations confirm a slight predominance of the political effect, as contribution rates increase. These results may shed some light on the future of early retirement in aging societies.
Keywords: pensions, income effect, tax burden, politico-economic
JEL Classification: H53, H55, D72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation