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Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World

Working Longer

In developed countries, men’s labor force participation at older ages has increased in recent years, reversing a decades-long pattern of decline. Participation rates for older women have also been rising. What explains these patterns, and the differences in them across countries? The answers to these questions are pivotal as countries face fiscal and retirement security challenges posed by longer life-spans.
This eighth phase of the International Social Security project, which compares the social security and retirement experiences of twelve developed countries, documents trends in participation and employment and explores reasons for the rising participation rates of older workers. The chapters use a common template for analysis, which facilitates comparison of results across countries. Using within-country natural experiments and cross-country comparisons, the researchers study the impact of improving health and education, changes in the occupation mix, the retirement incentives of social security programs, and the emergence of women in the workplace, on labor markets. The findings suggest that social security reforms and other factors such as the movement of women into the labor force have played an important role in labor force participation trends.

576 pages | 320 figures, 19 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2020

National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report

Economics and Business: Business--Industry and Labor, Economics--Government Finance

Table of Contents


Courtney C. Coile, Kevin Milligan, and David A. Wise

1. Older Men’s Labor Force Participation in Belgium
Alain Jousten and Mathieu Lefebvre

2. The Labor Force Participation of Older Men in Canada
Kevin Milligan and Tammy Schirle

3. From Early Retirement to Staying in the Job: Trend Reversal in the Danish Labor Market
Paul Bingley, Nabanita Datta Gupta, and Peder J. Pedersen

4. Explaining the Reversal in the Trend of Older Workers’ Employment Rates: The Case of France
Didier Blanchet, Antoine Bozio, Corinne Prost, and Muriel Roger

5. Old-Age Labor Force Participation in Germany: What Explains the Trend Reversal among Older Men and the Steady Increase among Women?
Axel Börsch-Supan and Irene Ferrari

6. Employment at Older Ages: Evidence from Italy
Agar Brugiavini, Giacomo Pasini, and Guglielmo Weber

7. Labor Force Participation of the Elderly in Japan
Takashi Oshio, Emiko Usui, and Satoshi Shimizutani 

8. Why Are People Working Longer in the Netherlands?
Adriaan Kalwij, Arie Kapteyn, and Klaas de Vos

9. Trends in Labor Force Participation of Older Workers in Spain
Pilar García-Gómez, Sergi Jiménez-Martín, and Judit Vall Castelló

10. The Recent Rise of Labor Force Participation of Older Workers in Sweden
Lisa Laun and Mårten Palme

11. Long-Run Trends in the Economic Activity of Older People in the United Kingdom
James Banks, Carl Emmerson, and Gemma Tetlow

12. Working Longer in the United States: Trends and Explanations
Courtney C. Coile

Author Index
Subject Index

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