Using Stated Preferences Data to Analyze Preferences for Full and Partial Retirement

by Arthur Van Soest, Arie Kapteyn, Julie Zissimopoulos

Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Structural models explaining retirement decisions of individuals or households in an inter-temporal setting are typically hard to estimate using data on actual retirement decisions, because choice sets are complicated and uncertain and for a large part unobserved by the researcher. This paper describes an experiment in which both perceived retirement opportunities and preferences for retirement are measured. For the latter, respondents evaluate how attractive they find a number of hypothetical, simplified, retirement trajectories involving early retirement, late retirement, and gradual retirement, each with its own corresponding income path. The questions were fielded in the Dutch CentERpanel. The answers are used to estimate a stylized structural life-cycle model of retirement preferences. The results suggest that, for example, many respondents could be convinced to work part-time after age 65 before retiring completely at age 70 for a reasonable financial compensation. Simulations combining the information on perceived opportunities with estimated preferences also illustrate the importance of employer imposed restrictions on retirement and the scope for increasing labor force participation of the elderly by creating opportunities for gradual retirement.

This research was supported by the National Institute on Aging and was conducted by RAND Labor and Population.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation working paper series. RAND working papers are intended to share researchers' latest findings and to solicit informal peer review. They have been approved for circulation by RAND but may not have been formally edited or peer reviewed.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.