DP15142 Slow Down Before You Stop: The Effect of the 2010 French Pension Reform on Older Teachers' Sick Leaves

Author(s): Hippolyte D'Albis, Denis Fougère, Pierre Gouëdard
Publication Date: August 2020
Keyword(s): pension reform, Retirement age, sick leaves, teachers' absenteeism
JEL(s): I12, J26
Programme Areas: Labour Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=15142

This paper proposes an evaluation of the pre-retirement consequences of a reform of the French pension system that increased the minimum legal retirement age. Our empirical strategy relies on the comparison of two groups of cohorts. The control group consists of cohorts not affected by the increase in the minimum legal retirement age while the treatment group consists of cohorts born later. Using a sample of 38,652 high-school teachers, we identify the effect of increasing the minimum retirement age on short sick leaves (i.e., of less than three months) by comparing probabilities to take at least one sick leave during a schooling year before retirement across the two groups. Estimates of panel data models show that teachers affected by the reform have an increased probability to take short sick leaves before retirement. This is mainly due to teachers who decide to retire at the minimum legal retirement age, while those who continue to work above the minimum retirement age do not increase the frequency of their short sick leaves before retirement. This last result is predicted by a theoretical model that analyzes the optimal retirement choice over the life-cycle, and it is confirmed by using an empirical strategy that distinguishes teachers according to their retirement age.