In the previous working phases of the International Social Security (ISS) project to date, harmonization across countries was achieved by using an analytic template that rigorously applied the same methodology to country-specific databases. As a culminating contribution to ISS project phase 10, phase 10a is a supplementary study, that estimates the effect of retirement incentives on retirement behavior using consolidated data that has been pooled across all participating countries, taking advantage of the extensive work in database development already completed for the country studies in phase 10.
In the project's previous work, we used only within-country changes of social security policies to estimate their effects on labor force participation in old age. In phase 10a, the pooled data allows us additionally to exploit the international differences in social security policies across countries to pin down these effects. At the same time, we can account for international differences in other factors that may affect retirement behavior, including observable variations across countries (e.g., health, education, macroeconomic conditions) and unobservable variations (e.g. cultural factors). We will pool the data from all 12 participating ISS countries in order to construct a massive integrated database. MEA assumes the final assembly and pooling of the data set, and the estimation itself. If the results from this pooled approach confirm the effect of retirement incentives on retirement, this will provide an important validation of the work of the ISS project over the past two decades.
First results have been presented to the participating country teams in October 2020.