What Explains Changes in Retirement Plans during the Great Recession?
John B. Shoven and
American Economic Review, 2011, vol. 101, issue 3, 29-34
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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