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Do State Economics or Individual Characteristics Determine Whether Older Men Work?

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  • Alicia H. Munnell
  • Mauricio Soto
  • Robert K. Triest
  • Natalia A. Zhivan

Abstract

The difference in labor force participation rates of men aged 55-64 across the United States is astounding. For example, West Virginia has a participation rate below 60 percent, while South Dakota has a participation rate approaching 90 percent (see Figure 1). This fact in itself has significant implications for the pressures that states will face as the baby boom starts to retire in the face of a contracting retirement income system, declining housing prices, and a lackluster stock market. Despite these marked differences, little is known about the reasons for such variations in work patterns. An earlier brief, using the Current Population Survey for the period 1977-2007, demonstrated that the differences in the labor force participation of older men were related to labor market conditions, the nature of employment, and the employee characteristics in each state as well as to a “pseudo replacement rate.” These variables explained more than one-third of the total variation...

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Retirement Research in its series Issues in Brief with number ib2008-8-13.

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Length: 13 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision: Sep 2008
Handle: RePEc:crr:issbrf:ib2008-8-13

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  1. Edward M. Feasel, 2002. "Understanding Unemployment Across California Counties," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(1), pages 12-30, January.
  2. Dan A. Black & Xiaoli Liang, 2005. "Local Labor Market Conditions and Retirement Behavior," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2005-8, Center for Retirement Research, revised May 2005.
  3. Kelly Edmiston, 2005. "Worker's compensation and state employment growth," Community Affairs Research Working Paper 2005-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  4. Alicia H. Munnell & Mauricio Soto & Robert K. Triest & Natalia A. Zhivan, 2008. "How Much Do State Economics and Other Characteristics Affect Retirement Behavior?," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2008-12, Center for Retirement Research, revised Sep 2008.
  5. Alicia H. Munnell & Mauricio Soto & Natalia A. Zhivan, 2008. "Why Do More Older Men Work in Some States?," Issues in Brief ib2008-8-6, Center for Retirement Research, revised Apr 2008.
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