OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

The Retirement Decision in OECD Countries

This paper examines the main determinants of the decision to retire from the labour market in OECD countries, and in particular the role of social security systems in driving down the labour-force participation rate of older people in recent decades. It demonstrates that old-age pension systems in virtually all OECD countries in the mid-1990s made it financially unattractive to work after the age of 55, and the implicit tax on continued work has risen strongly since the 1960s in most countries. Financial disincentives to continued work have been amplified by various de facto early-retirement programmes, including unemployment-related and disability schemes. Pooled cross-country time-series regressions show that increased disincentives to work at older ages have contributed significantly to the drop in labour-force participation rates of older males, but also demonstrate that the deterioration of labourmarket conditions in many countries has played a significant role as well ...


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