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Closing the Deficit

How Much Can Later Retirement Help?

edited by Gary Burtless and Henry Aaron

Publication Year: 2013

As the average age of the population continues to rise in industrialized nations, the fiscal impacts of aging demand ever-closer attention. Closing the Deficit examines one oft-discussed approach to the issue —encouraging people to work longer than they now do.

Workers would spend more years paying taxes and fewer years drawing pension and health benefits. But how much difference to spending and revenues would longer working lives make? What steps could be taken to make longer working lives attractive? And what would happen to older Americans not in a position to prolong their work lives? Leading scholars examine these issues in Closing the Deficit, edited by Brookings economists Gary Burtless and Henry Aaron.

Published by: Brookings Institution Press

Front Cover

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pp. 1-3

Title Page

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p. 4-4

Copyright Information

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p. 5-5

Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

As the proportion of the population that is old has grown in the United States and other industrial countries, policymakers and scholars have devoted increasing attention to the fiscal consequence of aging. To students of government budgets this development is unsurprising. ...

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pp. 1-10

Americans past the age of 60 are delaying their withdrawal from the labor force. This trend is relatively recent and only became detectable in the 1990s. It reverses a century-long trend toward earlier retirement that began in the late nineteenth century. ...

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1. Who Is Delaying Retirement? Analyzing the Increase in Employment among Older Workers

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pp. 11-35

Americans past age 60 are delaying their withdrawal from the workforce. This development reverses a trend toward early retirement that lasted longer than a century. The trend toward earlier labor force exit came to an end for U.S. men between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s.1 ...

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2. Future Labor Force Participation among the Aged: Forecasts from the Social Security Administration and the Author

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pp. 36-45

The labor force participation rates of Americans past age 60 have been increasing since the mid-1980s among women and since the early 1990s among men. The Social Security Administration (SSA) expects these trends to continue, although at a slower pace, over the next three decades. ...

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3. Impact of Higher Retirement Ages on Public Budgets: Simulation Results from DYNASIM3

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pp. 46-71

The graying of America is often described as an aging crisis. Actually, it presents an enormous opportunity and is a cause for celebration. The elderly population is growing because longevity has soared. Americans are now living longer and healthier than ever before. ...

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4. Nudged, Pushed, or Mugged: Policies to Encourage Older Workers to Retire Later

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pp. 72-120

Policies to encourage people to defer retirement are increasingly attractive for several reasons. Life expectancy is rising. Projected increases in budget deficits are traceable largely to anticipated growth of spending on pension and health benefits for the elderly and disabled. ...

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5. Thoughts on Working Longer and Retirement

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pp. 121-136

Let me start by questioning whether people really are working to older ages today than they were twenty years ago or that properly computed age-specific labor force participation rates have gone up over the same period. To return to an old theme of mine,1 it depends on how you measure age. ...


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pp. 137-138


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pp. 139-142

Back Cover

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p. 153-153

E-ISBN-13: 9780815704423
E-ISBN-10: 0815704429
Print-ISBN-13: 9780815704034

Page Count: 142
Publication Year: 2013