Browsing by Subject "Working life expectancy"

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  • Dudel, Christian; Myrskylä, Mikko (2020)
    Objectives: Little is known about the length of working life, even though it is a key indicator for policy-makers. In this paper, we study how the length of working life at age 50 has developed in the United States from a cohort perspective. Methods: We use a large longitudinal sample of U.S. Social Security register data that covers close to 1.7 million individuals of the cohorts born from 1920 to 1965. For all of these cohorts, we study the employment trajectories and working life expectancy (WLE) at age 50 by gender and nativity (native-born/foreign-born). For the cohorts with employment trajectories that are only incompletely observed, we borrow information from older cohorts to predict their WLE. Results: The length of working life has been increasing for the native-born males and females, and the younger cohorts worked longer than the older cohorts. However, WLE might soon peak, and then stall. The gap in WLE between the nativeborn and the foreign-born has increased over time, although latter group might be able to catch up in the coming years. Discussion: Our findings show that studying employment from a cohort perspective reveals crucial information about patterns of working life. The future development of the length of working life should be a major concern for policy-makers.
  • Dudel, Christian; López Gómez, María Andrée; Benavides, Fernando G.; Myrskylä, Mikko (2018)
    While there has been considerable debate about extending the length of working life, relatively little is known about this issue. We use data from the Spanish Continuous Working Life Sample for 2004--2013 to calculate period working life tables, which in turn allows us to assess the impact of the financial crisis on working life expectancy in Spain. Before the recession hit, working life expectancy in Spain was around 38 years for males and 33 years for females. The recession had a tremendous impact on the Spanish labor market, but the effects differed considerably by gender and occupational category. Men working in skilled non-manual jobs were less affected, while men working in unskilled manual jobs lost close to 14 years of working life expectancy. Women were less affected than men. With working life expectancy decreasing, the average proportion of lifetime spent in unemployment and outside the labor market increased markedly, whereas the average number of years spent in retirement changed only a little. When we decompose losses in working life expectancy by age group, we find that economic fluctuations affect both older and younger workers. This result suggests that policies that focus on retirement ages only are incomplete. We also compare our findings to the results obtained by Sullivans method, which is based on prevalence rates rather than the incidence-based working life table approach. We find that the use of Sullivans approach does not accurately reflect the levels of and the trends in working life expectancy.
  • Dudel, Christian; Myrskylae, Mikko (2017)
    A key concern about population aging is the decline in the size of the economically active population. Working longer is a potential remedy. However, little is known about the length of working life and how it relates to macroeconomic conditions. We use the U.S. Health and Retirement Study for 1992-2011 and multistate life tables to analyze working life expectancy at age 50 and study the impact of the Great Recession in 2007-2009. Despite declines of one to two years following the recession, in 2008-2011, American men aged 50 still spent 13 years, or two-fifths of their remaining life, working; American women of the same age spent 11 years, or one-third of their remaining life, in employment. Although educational differences in working life expectancy have been stable since the mid-1990s, racial differences started changing after the onset of the Great Recession. Our results show that although Americans generally work longer than people in other countries, considerable subpopulation heterogeneity exists. We also find that the time trends are fluctuating, which may prove troublesome as the population ages. Policies targeting the weakest performing groups may be needed to increase the total population trends.