Friday, March 26, 2010

Saving social security by allowing older workers to work more

In the face of increasing difficulties to retain the sustainability of pension systems in the face of demographic change, it seems quite obvious that the retirement age should be raised. As people grow older and hit retirement age in better health, this only makes sense. Also, the arguments that older people retiring would make room for unemployed younger workers is not valid. Another option could be to make people close to retirement work harder.

David Bell and Robert Hart argue that this tradition of giving longer vacations or shorter hours to older workers makes no sense. They are the most productive ones because they have the most experience. Bygone are the days where physical strength was the sole determinant of productivity. And older workers are typically happier at the jobs, as they took their time to settle in the "right one." Finally, one can not infrequently observe that workers close to retirement decide by themselves to work more, for three reasons. The first is to amass sufficient savings for retirement, the second is thanks to intertemporal subsitution of leisure, and the third come for rules in some pension schemes where the benefits are determined by the best income years. This all shows that it is possible to get these workers to provide temporarily more effort, as they are will to do it. So let them.


Barkley Rosser said...

So, offlist I requested to "Economic Logician" that he provide for me his identity. I promised I would not reveal it, and I am a man of my word. He has not done so, thereby insulting me.

Anyway, I realize now that my charge about how this blog looks like the execrable economicsjobrumors one seems to have been closer to the mark than I realize. It has come to may attention that apparently "Economic Logician" (who appears to be no logician) posts on that awful place, usually simply links to posts here, with commenters sneering at him for trying to puff up interest in this blog. I see that most posts get zero comments, although occasionally a small group of incompetent and semi-anonymous cronies pop in to make noises.

As it is, most of the posts here are trivial to ridiculous, and deserve their low rate of comments. I also note that this blog is not even on the Gongol EconDirectory list. I will close by noting that virtually all of the top econ blogs are run by people who are open about their identities. There are only a few exceptions, and the blogs are well below the top, such as a couple of people at angry bear. "Economic Logician" deserves his obscurity.

VIlfredo said...


as I said in the other thread, relax. Have you ever had a journal submission rejected? Obviously you will feel violated, but on reflection it is always a question of how you have sold your paper. EL seems to have pointed out a flaw in your paper, and instead of calling him/her names, revise your paper.

I occasionally comment here. Readership is light, and seeing how other blogs go, I do not think it is bad. said...

Hmmm. Looks like E.L. is censoring my postings here. Hah.

I will repeat my offer, E.L. If you tell me who you are, it will not be revealed to anybody. The upside is that I will treat you with respect, and may even comment in a serious way here from time to time. If not, well, you do not have my respect at all right now.

BTW, anyone who checks out my history should know that I am a man of my word. There are matters on the public record where I held to my word against strong and universal pressure not to do so.

Barkley Rosser said...

Censoring my posts again, E.L. You are definitely worthless scum.

Economic Logician said...


I have not deleted a single comment of yours. I only delete spam comments, at least so far, as comments have remained relatively civil.

Barkley Rosser said...


I apologize if you have not done so. Two comments I sent did not appear. I recognize that this may have been due to some error in how I posted.

I put my nasty comment here because one of them was attempted to be sent here yesterday. I sent two to your blog, the other one appearing on the other thread.

A main point of the one going here that did not make it was that I do not think Vilfredo's comparison of what you do to what a referee does cuts it. Referee reports are private between referees, editors, and authors. Also, referees are selected for their expertise. Finally, making ad hominem attacks or making claims of some kind of incompetence or malfeasance or lack of activity, such as "you have not read the literature" (not determinable from a refusal to cite a lit viewed as irrelevant) is exactly the sort of thing that leads people to criticize and label certain referee reports as being "bad."