EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Latent Work Capacity and Retirement Expectations

Italo Lopez Garcia (), Nicole Maestas and Kathleen Mullen
Additional contact information
Nicole Maestas: Harvard Medical School and NBER

Working Papers from University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center

Abstract: Understanding how health decline influences retirement decisions is fundamental for the design of targeted policies that encourage working longer. While there is wide agreement on the relevance of age-related health decline for determining labor supply and retirement decisions, the process of how health deterioration affects labor supply remains a black box. This paper explores the match between individuals’ functional abilities and job demands in the national economy using a new methodology to measure work capacity. Specifically, we construct a one-dimensional measure of individuals’ work capacities by comparing an individual’s own ability levels to the levels needed to perform different occupations, using new data containing individuals’ ratings of the same 52 abilities included in the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) database. We find that a one-unit increase in the fraction of jobs for a given education level that an individual can do — our measure of work capacity — is associated with a 15 to 21 percentage point increase in labor force participation, a 10 to 17 percentage point decrease in the percentage of respondents receiving SSDI benefits, a 7 to 10 percentage point increase in the subjective percent chance individuals will work longer, a 9 to 12 percentage point increase in the chance that retired individuals will return to the labor force, and a 17 to 25 percentage point increase in the chance that individuals with disabilities will return to the labor force. The magnitudes of these associations are all economically relevant and exist even when controlling for health status.

Pages: 49 pages
Date: 2019-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age, nep-dem and nep-hea
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://mrdrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/papers/pdf/wp400.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:mrr:papers:wp400

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Working Papers from University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center P.O. Box 1248, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by MRRC Administrator ().

 
Page updated 2024-02-27
Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp400