Absence of conflict of interest.
Montizaan, R., Cörvers, F., & de Grip, A. (2013). Training and retirement patterns. Applied Economics, 45(15), 1991-1999. doi:10.1080/00036846.2011.646066
- The study’s objective was to examine the impact of firm-specific training and general training on older men’s retirement decisions
- The study used a nonexperimental design and data from the U.S. National Longitudinal Survey of Older Men for 1966 to 1983 to estimate impacts.
- The study found that workers with firm-specific training were more likely to retire within the time period studied and to have jobs with a mandatory retirement age than workers without firm-specific training.
- The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is low because the authors did not ensure that the groups being compared were similar before receiving training and did not account for self-selection into training. This means we are not confident that the estimated effects are attributable to firm-specific or general training; other factors are likely to have contributed.
Firm-specific & General Training
Features of the Study
The authors used a statistical model to compare the employment outcomes of treatment and comparison group members. They used U.S. National Longitudinal Survey of Older Men data to examine 3,624 employed men ages 45 to 59 in 1966, who were interviewed every 1 to 2 years through 1983. The study measured the effect of firm-specific training before 1966 on retirement decisions between 1966 and 1983. Training is considered firm-specific if the worker’s longest training program was sponsored by their job, they continued to work at that job, and they used that training in their current job. Training is considered general if it was sponsored by another organization. Study outcomes included retirement during the study period, mandatory retirement age, and mandatory retirement at age 65.
- The authors found that workers with firm-specific training were more likely to retire during the study period and more likely to have mandatory retirement at age 65 than workers without firm-specific training.
- There was no statistically significant relationship between general training and retiring during the study period.
Considerations for Interpreting the Findings
The authors did not account for preexisting differences between the groups before participation in training. These preexisting differences between the groups—and not the training—could explain the observed differences in outcomes. The study controls for demographics, job characteristics, and retirement preferences, but these are all measured after the training took place.
Causal Evidence Rating
The quality of causal evidence presented in this report is low because the authors did not ensure that the groups being compared were similar before training and did not account for self-selection into certain jobs and trainings (for example, people who do not want to retire early might choose jobs in fields that have different training standards). This means we are not confident that the estimated effects are attributable to firm-specific or general training; other factors are likely to have contributed.