Effects of Retirement Pathways on Health and Income Inequalities from a European Perspective
The adverse ratio of people in employment and people in retirement constitutes a serious challenge for the European welfare state as the public expenses in general increase due to increasing expenses for the retirement benefits, health and care for older people. In reaction to this challenge governments in Europe have enacted a series of retirement reforms with the aim of keeping older employees in employment for longer since the 1990s. As a consequence a decoupling of the exit from employment and the entry into retirement and a diversity of pathways to retirement has been observed. These pathways to retirement are defined and influenced by the institutional arrangement of the labor market, the pension and welfare system of a country as well as by the individual determinants of the people in the country.
By using SHARE data and by taking a cross-national European and longitudinal perspective, I aim to explore the distribution and forms, as well as the causes and consequences, of the different pathways to retirement on the level of the individuals and on the contextual level of the institutional arrangement of a country in a time-frame from 2004 to 2014. For this panel I propose to discuss my results on the consequences of different pathways to retirement with regards to inequality in health status and income by analyzing how the institutional arrangements of various European countries exacerbate or mitigate these inequalities resulting from different pathways to retirement.
Contribution to theory and policy:
From a theoretical point of view I aim to contribute to theories on social inequality as well as on theories of welfare state regimes and retirement systems. In terms of a policy perspective I aim to contribute to the discussions on the effects of recent retirement reforms that have been enacted in European countries.