Gradual retirement, financial incentives, and labour supply of older workers: Evidence from a stated preference analysis

Ahmed Elsayed, Andries de Grip, Didier Fouarge, Raymond Montizaan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

260 Downloads (Pure)


Using data from a stated preferences experiment in the Netherlands, we find that replac- ing full-time pension schemes with schemes that offer gradual retirement opportunities induce workers to retire one year later on average. Total lifetime labour supply, however, decreases by 3.4 months, because the positive effect of delayed retirement on labour sup- ply is cancelled out by a reduction in working hours in the years before full retirement. The impact of gradual retirement schemes is, however, heterogeneous across groups of workers. Workers in bad health who gain access to gradual retirement postpone their re- tirement by 1.7 months more than workers in good health. This suggests that introduction of gradual retirement alleviates, to a certain extent, the health-related burden that employ- ees in poor health may experience in carrying out their work. Nevertheless, introduction of gradual retirement reduces the total labour supply of both groups of workers. Finan- cial incentives, either in terms of changing pension income or the price of leisure, also affect expected retirement age, but the impact of these financial incentives does not differ with the possibility of gradual retirement. Finally, we find that gradual retirement is not a preferred option among workers, as the large majority prefers full retirement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-294
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior & Organization
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

JEL classifications

  • j14 - "Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-labor Market Discrimination"
  • j26 - "Retirement; Retirement Policies"


  • gradual retirement
  • labour supply
  • financial incentives
  • stated preferences experiment
  • Labour supply
  • Stated preferences experiment
  • Financial incentives
  • Gradual retirement

Cite this