Friday, October 9, 2015

New papers from the Social Science Research Network

"What Causes Workers to Retire Before They Plan?"
Center for Retirement Research Working Paper No. 2015-22

ALICIA H. MUNNELL, Boston College - Center for Retirement Research
GEOFFREY SANZENBACHER, Boston College Economics Department
ANTHONY WEBB, Boston College - Center for Retirement Research

This paper explores the extent to which health, employment, family, or finances are associated with earlier-than-planned retirement using the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). The importance of any shock that drives early retirement depends both on its effect on those experiencing it and its prevalence in the population; therefore, the analysis proceeds in two steps. First, a probit regression is used to determine the strength of the relationship between the shocks and earlier-than-planned retirement, controlling for individual characteristics. Second, to incorporate the prevalence of the shock, counterfactual experiments are run to determine how much early retirement would be reduced in the population if these shocks did not occur.

"Job Polarization and Labor Market Outcomes for Older, Middle-Skilled Workers"
Center for Retirement Research at Boston College Working Paper No. 2015-23

MATTHEW S. RUTLEDGE, Boston College, Center for Retirement Research
QI GUAN, Boston College - Center for Retirement Research

Numerous studies have found that even as employment growth in high- and low-skill occupations has been robust, employment in middle-skill occupations such as office administration and manufacturing is in long-term decline. The timing of this decline could not be worse for the older workers looking to prolong their careers to compensate for decreasing Social Security and pension income. But few existing studies have examined the consequences of job polarization on older workers, who may be less likely than prime-aged workers to find work in high- or low-skill occupations. This paper uses the Survey of Income and Program Participation to investigate employment outcomes specifically for older workers first observed in middle-skill jobs. If they leave a middle-skill job, are they able to find jobs in another skill level, or are they forced out of employment prematurely? What are the circumstances surrounding these transitions, and how are the workers’ earnings affected?

"Characteristics of Noninstitutionalized DI and SSI Program Participants, 2013 Update"
Office of Retirement and Disability Policy, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics. Research and Statistics Note, No. 2015-02, 2015

MICHELLE STEGMAN, Government of the United States of America - Office of Program Development, Social Security Administration
JEFFREY HEMMETER, Government of the United States of America - Social Security Administration

The authors use data from the 2008 panel of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) matched to administrative records from the Social Security Administration (SSA) to produce tables describing the characteristics of Disability Insurance (DI) beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients in December 2010. This match to survey data allows the authors to provide detailed information on the economic and demographic characteristics of program participants not available in administrative records. These tables update those previously published by DeCesaro and Hemmeter (2008) using 2002 data.

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