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American Economic Review: Vol. 101 No. 3 (May 2011)

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What Explains Changes in Retirement Plans during the Great Recession?

Article Citation

Goda, Gopi Shah, John B. Shoven, and Sita Nataraj Slavov. 2011. "What Explains Changes in Retirement Plans during the Great Recession?" American Economic Review, 101(3): 29-34.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.101.3.29

Abstract

We examine changes in subjective probabilities regarding retirement between the 2006 and 2008 waves of the Health and Retirement Study. Using a first-difference approach to eliminate individual heterogeneity, we find that the steep drop in asset prices in 2008 increased the reported probability of working at age 62 during the Great Recession. Increasing unemployment at least partly attenuated this effect, but subjective probabilities of working did not respond to changes in housing markets. Older workers' probabilities of working were more sensitive to fluctuations in the stock market, but less responsive to changes in labor market conditions.

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Authors

Goda, Gopi Shah (Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, Stanford U)
Shoven, John B. (Stanford U)
Slavov, Sita Nataraj (Occidental College)

JEL Classifications

D14: Personal Finance
E24: Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital
E32: Business Fluctuations; Cycles
J14: Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-labor Market Discrimination
J26: Retirement; Retirement Policies


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