A Comparative Perspective on Later-Life Employment and Health

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 08:30
Oral Presentation
Ignacio MADERO-CABIB, Universidad de Chile, Chile
Laurie CORNA, King's College London, United Kingdom
Across the developed world, unprecedented population ageing has led governments to implement policies that encourage paid employment in later life to mitigate the strain on public pension systems. In practice, this has meant, among other measures, increases to the age at which individuals become eligible for a state pension. Despite common measures, there is considerable heterogeneity in the labour market experiences of older adults across and within countries, driven in part by the labour market and pension policies of diverse welfare states. However, to date, our understanding of how such policies influence the effects of labour market activity on non-monetary dimensions of late life, notably the health of older adults, is in its infancy. In this paper, we adopt a cross-national comparative perspective, assessing the labour market experiences of older adults in the years leading up to, and beyond the state pension age, and their association with health in the US, Europe and Chile.

We use data from the Health and Retirement Survey (for the US), the English Longitudinal Ageing Study of Ageing (for England), the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (for Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland), and the Chilean Social Protection Survey (for Chile), to first model labour market involvement in the 5 years pre- and post- country and gender specific state pension ages using optimal matching analysis. We then analyse the relationship of these patterns with self-rated health, and assess the extent to which the association between later life employment patterns and health varies across clusters reflecting distinct welfare state types. Preliminary results indicate that early exists for men in liberal-oriented nations are the most damaging for health, while extending working life (both in full-time and part-time positions) leads to better health indicators in most of the countries analyzed.