The age pattern of retirement: Comparisons of longitudinal, pseudo-cohort, and period measures

Frank T. Denton, Ross Finnie, Byron G. Spencer


Retirement patterns change. When that happens, measures based on single-period cross-sectional data may provide a misleading picture of cohort retirement behaviour. We offer two cohort-based measures. One draws on income tax records to follow actual cohorts of individuals over time, the other on a time-series of cross-sectional surveys. We find that the retirement patterns based on the two approaches are similar but differ, often substantially, from single-period patterns. While pseudo-cohort measures can be assessed more quickly and at lower cost, knowledge of differences across income groups, income replacement rates, and so on, must rely on full longitudinal records.


Retirement patterns; longitudinal measures of retirement; pseudo-cohort measures of retirement; age-retirement patterns

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