Essays in the Economics of Ageing

Ferrari, Irene (2015) Essays in the Economics of Ageing, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Economia, 27 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6937.
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In the first paper, I assess if financial incentives may be used as an effective device to induce workers to postpone retirement by evaluating the Italian so called “super bonus” reform. The bonus consisted in economic incentives given for a limited period to private sector workers who had reached the requirements for seniority pension. Crucially for this study, public workers were not entitled to the bonus. Using data from the Bank of Italy Survey on Household Income andWealth, and exploiting the DID-Probit strategy proposed by Blundell et al. (JEEA, 2004), I assess the effect of the bonus on the decision to postpone retirement, by comparing private and public workers before and after the reform. Results suggest a reduction of 12ppt in the proportion of private workers who decided to retire among those qualifying for retirement. Results also suggest, not trivially, that most of the effect of the reform is driven by low-income workers. Finally, I propose an estimate of the extensive margin elasticity of Italian older workers. The second study estimates a structural reduced form of the “option value” model developed by Stock and Wise (1990) using Italian data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE).Exploiting exogenous changes in social security wealth (SSW) results show a significant effect in the expected direction of SSW and of marginal incentives to retire. Results are robust even after controlling for individual heterogeneity and its correlation with financial incentives. Using detailed information on individuals, the results also highlights the importance of individual and job characteristics, which have been very little explored by this literature, as determinants of retirement. This suggests the potential of “tagging” in the design of social security incentives in order to reduce choice distortions and improve the overall efficiency of the system.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Ferrari, Irene
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze economiche e statistiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
retirement, extensive margin elasticity, option-value model, difference in differences probit, unobserved heterogeneity
Data di discussione
15 Giugno 2015

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