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Seminar «Work beyond the Statutory Retirement Age in Urban China and Urban Russia»

IZA-HSE University International Labor Seminar was held on September  15, 2020.

Speaker: Björn Gustafsson (University of Gothenburg and IZA).

Title: Work beyond the Statutory Retirement Age in Urban China and Urban Russia.

Work for earnings beyond the statutory pension age of 55 for females and 60 for males in the urban regions of China and Russia 2002, 2013 and 2018 is investigated using microdata. Estimated logit models show that determinants of working after statutory retirement age are in each country similar to what has been reported for high income countries: The probability to work is higher if living with a spouse only, being healthy, longer educated and is negatively related to age, and in most cases also the size of the pension and in urban China to being female.

We show that it is more common for seniors in Russia to work for earnings than among their urban counterparts in China. Two possible reasons for this difference are out ruled: Cross-country differences in health status and the age distribution of elderly people. We show that being over the statutory retirement age has a much greater negative consequence on earnings in urban China than in urban Russia. This is consistent with that the statutory retirement age being stronger enforced in urban China where seniors attempting to work meet a strong competition of younger migrant worker. We conclude that China can learn from Russia that it has a substantial potential for increasing employment among healthy people under 70. However, the Russian experience in 2018 of increasing the statutory retirement age also shows that such a change can be extremely unpopular.

Joint paper with Ludmila Nivorozhkina (Rostov State Economic University) and Haiyuan Wan (Beijing Normal University).

Discussants: Feicheng Wang (University of Göttingen) and Oxana Sinyavskaya (NRU Higher School of Economics).