WorldCat Identities

Mitchell, Olivia S.

Works: 51 works in 396 publications in 1 language and 2,839 library holdings
Genres: Longitudinal studies 
Classifications: HB1, 332.024
Publication Timeline
Publications about  Olivia S Mitchell Publications about Olivia S Mitchell
Publications by  Olivia S Mitchell Publications by Olivia S Mitchell
Most widely held works by Olivia S Mitchell
Social security privatization : a structure for analysis by Olivia S Mitchell ( Book )
11 editions published in 1996 in English and held by 101 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: This paper identifies the key economic issues that must be addressed in the debate over a privatized social security system. We examine a two-pillar plan. The first pillar would consist of a demogrant: a small indexed pension of the same dollar amount for all retirees who had contributed to the system over a full lifetime of work. The second pillar would consist of a fully-funded individual defined-contribution account, financed by payroll taxes, held in financial institutions, and directed by participants. We explore how such a system would affect the risks households face, how it would alter the distribution of income, and how it might influence household behavior, including incentives to work and save, and portfolio choices. We also examine macroeconomic issues: how the transition to a private plan would occur, and what the likely effects would be on national saving. We conclude that a two-pillar system offers several positive features, namely a reduction in political risk, an increase in household portfolio choice, and improved work incentives. Disadvantages include less redistributiveness and national risk sharing, and increased administrative costs
New evidence on the money's worth of individual annuities by Olivia S Mitchell ( Book )
13 editions published between 1997 and 2000 in English and held by 99 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
This paper presents new information on the expected present discounted value of payouts on individual life annuities. The annuity we examine is the single premium immediate life annuity, an insurance product that pays out a nominal level sum as long as the covered person lives, in exchange for an initial lump-sum premium. This annuity offers protection against the risk of someone outliving his saving, given uncertainty about longevity. For reasonable estimates of behavioral parameters, we calculate that individual annuities are currently priced so that retirees without bequest motives should find these policies of substantial value in configuring their portfolios to smooth retirement consumption. We also find that the expected present discounted value of payouts, relative to the initial cost of the annuity, has increased over the last decade. These findings bear on the policy debate regarding the role of individual choice and self-reliance in retirement planning
Annuities for an ageing world by Olivia S Mitchell ( Book )
11 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 94 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: Substantial research attention has been devoted to the pension accumulation process, whereby employees and those advising them work to accumulate funds for retirement. Until recently, less analysis has been devoted to the pension decumulation process -- the process by which retirees finance their consumption during retirement. This gap has recently begun to be filled by an active group of researchers examining key aspects of the pension payout market. One of the areas of most interesting investigation has been in the area of annuities, which are financial products intended to cover the risk of retirees outliving their assets. This paper reviews and extends recent research examining the role of annuities in helping finance retirement consumption. We also examine key market and regulatory factors
The role of real annuities and indexed bonds in an individual accounts retirement program by Jeffrey R Brown ( Book )
13 editions published between 1999 and 2001 in English and held by 92 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: We explore four issues concerning annuitization options that retirees might use in the decumulation phase of an individual accounts' retirement saving system. First, we investigate the operation of both real and nominal annuity individual annuity markets in the United Kingdom. The widespread availability of real annuities in the U.K. dispels the argument that private insurance markets could not, or would not, provide real annuities to retirees. Second, we consider the current structure of two inflation-linked insurance products available in the United States, only one of which proves to be a real annuity. Third, we evaluate the potential of assets such as stocks, bonds, and bills, to provide retiree protection from inflation. Because equity real returns have been high over the last seven decades, a retiree who received income linked to equity returns would have fared very well on average. Nevertheless we cast doubt on the inflation insurance' aspect of equity, since this is mainly due to stocks' high average return, and not because stock returns move in tandem with inflation. Finally, we use a simulation model to assess potential retiree willingness to pay for real, nominal, and variable payout equity-linked annuities. For plausible degrees of risk aversion, inflation protection appears to have only modest value. People would be expected to value a variable payout equity-linked annuity more highly than a real annuity because the additional real returns associated with common stocks more than compensate for the volatility of prospective payouts. These finding are germane to concerns raised in connection with Social Security reform plans that include individual accounts
Projected retirement wealth and savings adequacy in the Health and Retirement Study by James F Moore ( Book )
13 editions published between 1997 and 1998 in English and held by 91 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: Low saving rates raise questions about Americans' ability to maintain consumption levels in old age. Using the Health and Retirement Study, this paper explores asset holdings among a nationally representative sample of people on the verge of retirement. Making reasonable projections about asset growth, we assess how much more people would need to save in order to preserve consumption levels after retirement. We find that the median older household has current wealth of approximately $325,000 including pensions, social security, housing, and other financial wealth, an amount projected to grow to about $380,000 by retirement at age 62. Nevertheless, our model suggests that this median household will still need to save 16% of annual earnings to preserve pre-retirement consumption. For retirement at age 65, assets are expected to be about $420,000 and required additional saving totals 7% of earnings per year. These summary statistics conceal extraordinary heterogeneity in both assets and saving needs in the older population. Older high wealth households have 45 times more assets than the poorest decile and this disparity increases with age. There are also large differences in prescribed saving targets, ranging from 38% of annual earnings for those in the lowest wealth decile to negative rates for the wealthiest decile
Health problems as determinants of retirement : are self-rated measures endogenous? by Debra Sabatini Dwyer ( Book )
12 editions published in 1998 in English and held by 90 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: We explore alternative measures of unobserved health status in order to identify effects of mental and physical capacity for work on older men's retirement. Traditional self-ratings of poor health are tested against more objectively measured instruments. Using the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), we find that health problems influence retirement plans more strongly than do economic variables. Specifically, men in poor overall health expected to retire one to two years earlier, an effect that persists after correcting for potential endogeneity of self-rated health problems. The effects of detailed health problems are also examined in depth
Retirement wealth accumulation and decumulation : new developments and outstanding opportunities by Olivia S Mitchell ( Book )
14 editions published in 1997 in English and held by 88 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: Analysts have raised questions about current workers' ability and inclination to save" enough for retirement. This issue is of obvious policy interest given the current debate over" reforming national retirement income programs. This paper explores the implications of recent" research regarding retirement wealth accumulation and decumulation for this debate. Our goal is" to identify problems and opportunities in the area of preparedness for retirement."
State and local pension plans by Olivia S Mitchell ( Book )
11 editions published between 1995 and 1996 in English and held by 86 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: This paper examines the role and function of pension plans covering state and local government employees in the United States. Covering about 16 million employees (including teachers, fire fighters, police, members of the judiciary, and many other state and local employees), these plans manage a substantial stock of financial assets -- close to $1 trillion -- and receive annual contributions from employees and government revenues totaling about $56 billion. Using data gathered from a variety of different sources, some of which have only recently become available, we describe the benefits, financing, and management of these plans, and identify some of the prominent challenges facing these pension plans in the next decade
Mortality risk, inflation risk, and annuity products by Jeffrey R Brown ( Book )
14 editions published in 2000 in English and held by 86 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: As growing numbers of retirees reach retirement age with substantial balances in self-directed retirement plans, annuities are likely to become increasingly important instruments for drawing down retirement savings. This study explores recent trends in the pricing of single-premium annuity products in the United States. Virtually all of the annuity products currently available in the United States offer fixed nominal payouts, rather than an inflation-linked payout stream. After describing the money's worth' of the various types of nominal annuity products, this study considers the extent to which existing U.S. private annuity markets provide retirees with inflation-protected retirement income flows. Although there is effectively no market yet for inflation-indexed annuities in the United States, such products are available in other countries. The paper concludes by summarizing recent data on the pricing of both nominal and inflation-linked annuities in the United Kingdom and several other nations
Retirement research using the Health and Retirement Survey by Alan L Gustman ( Book )
13 editions published between 1993 and 1994 in English and held by 85 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: This paper highlights unanswered research questions in the economics of retirement, and shows how these issues can be addressed using the new Health and Retirement Survey (HRS). Unique features of the survey are described including administrative records on earnings and social security benefits, and employer provided data on pensions and health insurance. Also collected are indicators of retirement plans, health status, family structure, income, wealth and employer policies affecting job opportunities and constraints. Data from the first wave of the HRS are used to analyze retirement outcomes and constraints shaping retirement behavior
Construction of the earnings and benefits file (EBF) for use with the Health and Retirement Survey by Olivia S Mitchell ( Book )
9 editions published between 1996 and 1998 in English and held by 82 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: Analysts using the Health and Retirement Survey (HRS) often require information on earnings, labor market attachment, and social security benefits in order to better understand the factors affecting retirement and well-being at older ages. To this end, several derived variables were constructed and documented in the Earnings and Benefits File (EBF) described here. The EBF provides a set of summary earnings, employment, and social security wealth measures for a subset of HRS respondents in Wave 1 of the survey, for whom administrative records are available. The EBF, a restricted data file, is available from the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research for matching only with versions of the HRS containing geographic detail no finer than the Census Division level. Interested users should contact by email for further information on access to the data
Retirement responses to early Social Security benefit reductions by Olivia S Mitchell ( Book )
12 editions published between 2000 and 2001 in English and held by 81 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: This paper evaluates potential responses to reductions in early Social Security retirement benefits. Using the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) linked to administrative records, we find that Social Security coverage is quite uneven in the older population: one-quarter of respondents in their late 50's lacks coverage under the Disability Insurance program, and one-fifth lacks coverage for old-age benefits. Among those eligible for benefits, respondents who subsequently retired early appear quite similar initially to those who later filed for normal retirement benefits, but both groups were healthier and better educated than those who later filed for disability benefits. Next we investigate the potential impact of curtailing, and then eliminating, early Social Security benefits. A life-cycle model of retirement behavior provides estimated parameters used to simulate the effects of cutting early Social Security benefits on retirement pathways. We find that cutting early Social Security benefits would boost the probability of normal retirement by twice as much as it would the probability of disability retirement
Guaranteeing defined contribution pensions : the option to buy-back a defined benefit promise by Marie-Eve Lachance ( Book )
10 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 77 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: After a long commitment to defined benefit (DB) pension plans for US public sect or employees, many state legislatures have introduced defined contribution (DC) plans for their public employees. In this process, investment risk which was previously borne by state DB plans has now devolved to employees covered by the new DC plans. In light of this trend, some states have proposed a guarantee mechanism to help protect DC plan participants. One such guarantee takes the form of an option permitting DC plan participants to bu y back their DB benefit for a price. This paper develops a theoretical framewor k to analyze the option design and illustrate how employee characteristics influ ence the option's cost. We illustrate the potential magnitude of a buy-back opt ion value enacted recently by the State of Florida for its public employees. If employees were to exercise the buy-back option optimally, the market value of t his option could represent up to 100 percent of the DC contributions over the wo rklife
The role of economic policy in social security reform : perspectives from the president's commission by John F Cogan ( Book )
9 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 77 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: Recently we were asked to serve on the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security (CSSS) along with 14 other members drawn equally from both major political parties. The Commission's charge was to provide recommendations to modernize the Social Security system, restore its fiscal soundness, and develop a workable system of Personal Retirement Accounts. This paper explains how the Commission arrived at some of its recommendations and the role that economics played in contributing to these recommendations. We describe the key institutional constraints confronting efforts to reform Social Security and how these constraints influenced Commission decisions. We also illustrate how economics research influenced the Commission's analysis of how to structure personal accounts, ways to enhance traditional Social Security program finances, and means of measuring the extent of financial progress achieved through reform
New trends in pension benefit and retirement provisions by Olivia S Mitchell ( Book )
8 editions published in 1999 in English and held by 75 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: This study illustrates and interprets changes in pension plan retirement formulas and benefit provisions over the last two decades, using extensive information on private sector pension plans gathered by the U.S. Department of Labor since 1980. Data generated from the Employee Benefits Survey (EBS) of medium and large firms shows that pension provisions have changed a great deal in companies that have traditionally been the most consistent providers of employer-sponsored retirement benefits in the US. In the defined benefit environment, vesting rules were loosened somewhat; plans have eased access to normal retirement; and pension benefit formulas have moved toward final rather than career earnings, with increased weight on straight-time pay. In addition, these plans became more integrated with social security, but the form of this integration has changed substantially. Defined benefit pension replacement rates appear to have fallen over time, though the time series is not complete. In addition, benefit caps remain in place, generally by limiting years of service in the formula; disability benefit provisions have also become more stringent; and it is increasingly possible to take a lump sum from one's defined benefit pension. The defined contribution environment has also seen substantial change, as documented in the BLS series. Participation and vesting rules appear most lenient for workers in 401(k) plans; most employees must contribute to their plans, generally as a function of earnings; and employee access to pension fund assets appears to be on the upswing over time. Participants in these plans have also gained access to diversified stock and bond funds, with fewer permitted to invest in own-employer stock, common stock funds and guaranteed insurance contracts. We conclude with a discussion of how future data collection efforts could be improved
Betting on death and capital markets in retirement : a shortfall risk analysis of life annuities versus phased withdrawal plans by Ivica Dus ( )
14 editions published between 2004 and 2005 in English and held by 75 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
"Retirees must draw down their accumulated assets in an orderly fashion, so as not to exhaust their funds too soon. We compare alternative phased withdrawal strategies to a life annuity benchmark using German data; one particular phased withdrawal rule seems attractive, as it offers relatively low expected shortfall risk, good expected payouts for the retiree during his life, and some bequest potential; results are similar for the US case. Delayed annuitization may also appeal, as it offers higher expected benefits with lower expected shortfalls. Requiring unisex mortality tables in annuity pric-ing raises women's risks under a phased withdrawal program"--NBER website
Developments in decumulation : the role of annuity products in financing retirement by Olivia S Mitchell ( Book )
12 editions published in 2001 in English and held by 73 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: Longer lifespans are generally seen as a positive outcome of economic growth. Yet life extension also means that more people face the risk of living too long -- that is, outliving their assets and means of support. A range of financial products exists currently or can be envisioned for the future that would be useful in helping to protect people against having to dramatically curtail consumption in old age. This paper reviews the usefulness of life annuities in providing protection against longevity risk
Strengthening employment-based pensions in Japan by Robert L Clark ( Book )
12 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 72 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: We investigate how the Japanese pension market for funded employment-based pensions is changing and how it might be strengthened in order to better serve one of the most rapidly aging populations in the world. Public and private pensions in Japan are estimated to hold around US$3 trillion, making that system the second largest globally after the United States. However, unfavorable economic developments have cut sharply cut into asset values, and the weak economy is undermining traditional lifetime employment contracts. Recent legislation permitting the establishment of defined contribution plans in Japan may provide new employer-sponsored retirement plan opportunities. We first describe the Japanese pension system at the end of the 20th century and provide an overview and evaluation of the changes in the pension arena emerging from the 2001 legislation. Next we show that important design questions remain to be answered, if Japanese employment-based pensions are to be reformed and modernized. Finally we indicate lessons gleaned from recent changes in US pension plans
Aged-care support in Japan : perspectives and challenges by Olivia S Mitchell ( Book )
10 editions published in 2004 in English and held by 72 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
"This study explores economic aspects of the market for long term care (LTC) with a special focus on Japan. First, we describe the LTC system in Japan as presently implemented, and we highlight some aspects of the program that are novel and potentially of interest to other countries seeking models for long-term care provision. Next, we discuss alternative projections of Japanese LTC utilization and costs. Finally, since Japan appears likely to experience important shortfalls in LTC in the future, we discuss whether such services might be more efficiently organized and financed under alternate forms of provision"--National Bureau of Economic Research web site
The role of company stock in defined contribution plans by Olivia S Mitchell ( Book )
9 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 72 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Abstract: This paper explores the risks and benefits of holding company stock in employer-sponsored defined contribution (DC) retirement plans. We address three questions: (1) What is the role and function of company stock in such plans? (2) Who might be affected by enhanced portfolio diversification in such plans? and (3) What mechanisms exist, or might be developed, to enhance portfolio diversification if more diversification were deemed useful? Firms offer company stock within DC plans in an effort to enhance economic performance, though evidence is mixed on productivity gains from stock ownership. We demonstrate that concentrated stock positions arise most often in larger firms' DC plans where sponsors direct employer contributions and restrict diversification. Stock concentration also arises because participants systematically underestimate the risk of employer stock and over-rely on its past performance in making investment decisions. In a retirement system with concentrated stock positions, there will always be some participants who forfeit DC plan savings to firm bankruptcy. Encouraging plan diversification mitigates this risk, but it could also induce some companies to redirect plan contributions to other forms of stock compensation or to replace stock contributions with cash compensation. We conclude by describing policy tools that might be used to encourage diversification and discuss conditions for their effective implementation
moreShow More Titles
fewerShow Fewer Titles
Audience Level
Audience Level
  Kids General Special  
Audience level: 0.91 (from 0.86 for Annuities ... to 0.93 for State and ...)
English (230)