Older Women: Pushed into Retirement by the Baby Boomers?
AbstractOlder women's patterns of labor supply over the past forty years have differed markedly from those of younger women. Their labor force participation declined sharply during a period of rapid increase for younger women, and then increased significantly while younger women's plateaued and even declined. But there has been an apparent correspondence between the pattern of retirement among women aged 55-69, and the proportion of workers aged 25-34 working part-year and/or part-time. The latter was an effect of overcrowding among the baby boomers as they moved through the labor market. The former is hypothesized here to be a function of the increasing difficulty older women experienced in obtaining "bridge jobs" – part-year and/or part-time – between career and retirement. It has been demonstrated in earlier studies that older women – especially those in lower-wage jobs – often seek such bridge jobs before retirement. And in many cases these bridge jobs are not in the same industry or even occupation as the career job, leading one to suspect that in many cases there might be little transfer of skill or human capital. If this is the case, then the older workers would at least to some extent be in direct competition with younger workers for these jobs. Given difficulty in finding bridge jobs, a higher proportion of older workers might choose to enter retirement directly from career jobs, skipping the bridge jobs. A relative cohort size measure – the number of 25-34 year old women working part-year and/or part-time, relative to the number of older women, at the state level – has been shown here to be highly significant – both statistically and substantively – in explaining changes in older women's annual hours worked, labor force participation, and propensity to retire. In general terms, relative cohort size can be said to have generated between 15-30% of the observed changes in these variables, with the strongest effects being on the propensity to claim Social Security benefits. Somewhat stronger effects were found for older men, in a companion to this study.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4653.
Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
- J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
- J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
- J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGE-2010-01-16 (Economics of Ageing)
- NEP-ALL-2010-01-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAB-2010-01-16 (Labour Economics)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Garloff, Alfred & Pohl, Carsten & Schanne, Norbert, 2011.
"Do small labor market entry cohorts reduce unemployment?,"
IAB Discussion Paper
201118, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
- Alfred Garloff & Carsten Pohl & Norbert Schanne, 2013. "Do small labor market entry cohorts reduce unemployment?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 29(15), pages 379-406, September.
- Bernhard Boockmann & Jan Fries & Christian Göbel, 2012.
"Specific Measures for Older Employees and Late Career Employment,"
IAW Discussion Papers
89, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
- Boockmann, Bernhard & Fries, Jan & Göbel, Christian, 2012. "Specific measures for older employees and late career employment," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-059, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.