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The Geography of Retirement

Courtney Coile

No 29433, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: As Americans work longer in response to a changing retirement landscape, it is important to ask whether there are groups being left out of this trend. Geography is a natural lens through which to examine this question, given regional disparities in the employment of prime-age individuals. In this study, we explore the geography of retirement using data from the U.S. Census/American Community Survey and other sources. We find large differences across U.S. commuting zones in employment rates at older ages, with a gap of about 20 percentage points between areas at the 90th and 10th percentiles of employment. Low-employment areas are systematically different, with a less educated and more diverse population, more low-wage jobs and import competition from China, poorer health outcomes and health care access, lower government spending, and more income inequality. Although these correlations are not necessarily causal, these factors collectively can explain about four-fifths of the geographic variation in employment at older ages.

JEL-codes: J22 J26 R23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age, nep-cwa, nep-geo, nep-lma and nep-ure
Note: AG
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