Early retirement and employment of the young

Policy makers have often argued that an additional benefit of facilitating early retirement is that it creates employment for the young. This may happen if older and younger workers are substitutes.Nowadays policy makers’ goals are to discourage early retirement to counter the economic consequences of an aging population and, interestingly, the consequences for youth employment appear to play no role in this. This paper studies the nexus between employment of older and younger workers in more depth, if only to put any concerns for adverse effects of later retirement to rest. To empirically investigate this issue we estimate a dynamic model of employment of the young, prime age and old people using panel data of 22 OECD countries over the time period 1960-2004. Our empirical analysis does not support the hypothesis that employment of the young and old are substitutes and finds some minor complementarities. This suggests that discouraging early retirement will have no adverse effect on youth employment.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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