Did the elimination of mandatory retirement affect faculty retirement?

Orley Ashenfelter, David Card

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


A special exemption from the 1986 Age Discrimination Act allowed colleges and universities to enforce mandatory retirement of faculty at age 70 until 1994. We construct a survey that permits us to compare faculty turnover rates before and after the law changed at a large sample of institutions with defined contribution pension plans. After the elimination of compulsory retirement the retirement rates of 70- and 71-year-olds fell by two-thirds and were comparable to rates of 69-year-olds. These findings indicate that U.S. colleges and universities will experience a rise in the number of older faculty over the coming years. (JEL J26, I21).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)957-980
Number of pages24
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


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