The Effect of Job Mobility on Retirement Timing by Education

Boston College Center for Retirement Research WP No. 2017-1

26 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2017 Last revised: 26 Feb 2017

See all articles by Geoffrey Sanzenbacher

Geoffrey Sanzenbacher

Boston College Economics Department

Steven A. Sass

Boston College - Center for Retirement Research

Christopher Gillis

Boston College, Center for Retirement Research

Date Written: February 1, 2017

Abstract

Job-changing among late-career workers increased steadily from the 1980s through the mid-2000s before declining somewhat in recent years. This study asks how the rise in job-changing – which seems largely voluntary – affects retirement timing and whether this effect varies by a key measure of socioeconomic status: educational attainment. Workers presumably change jobs voluntarily to improve their well-being through gains in the economic or non-economic rewards of work or better working conditions. As a result, workers switching jobs late in their careers might retire later than they otherwise would have. Retiring later would be especially beneficial to less educated workers, who are generally less prepared financially to retire than better educated workers. Changing jobs, however, sheds the protection that tenure provides against involuntary job loss, which often leads to earlier retirements for older workers. This study seeks to understand which effect dominates, while dealing with the fact that job changing could be endogenous to retirement – that workers willing to bear the cost of a job search could intend to remain in the workforce longer. The analysis does so by controlling for each individual’s planned retirement age. The results show that the benefits of job changing are widely distributed and are associated with later retirements for men and women and for better and less educated workers.

Suggested Citation

Sanzenbacher, Geoffrey and Sass, Steven A. and Gillis, Christopher, The Effect of Job Mobility on Retirement Timing by Education (February 1, 2017). Boston College Center for Retirement Research WP No. 2017-1 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2912417 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2912417

Geoffrey Sanzenbacher

Boston College Economics Department ( email )

United States

Steven A. Sass

Boston College - Center for Retirement Research ( email )

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

Christopher Gillis (Contact Author)

Boston College, Center for Retirement Research ( email )

Boston, MA
United States

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