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The influences on bridge employment decisions


  • Chanjira Pengcharoen
  • Kenneth S. Shultz


Purpose - Population aging, and changes in labor force participation among older adults, will have tremendous impacts on the aging workforce. Thus it is imperative that the factors that influence whether older workers will continue in their career employment, engage in bridge employment, or fully retire, should be understood better. This paper aims to focus on these issues. Design/methodology/approach - In the present study longitudinal data for 2,869 older workers from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) data set in the USA were used to examine the influence of demographic (e.g. income), nonwork related factors (e.g. marital satisfaction), and work related factors (e.g. job involvement) on late-life employment decisions over a ten year period from 1992 to 2002. Findings - The results indicate a wide variety of factors impact employment decisions later in life. Specifically, it was found that work related factors of job involvement and schedule flexibility, as well as the nonwork related factors of certainty of retirement plans, attitudes toward retirement, and job seeking self-efficacy all distinguished the various employment statuses (e.g. completely retired, partly retirement, and not retired at all) of older workers over a ten year period. Originality/value - This study shows that both individuals and organizations need to examine a wide variety of factors when examining bridge employment decisions at the end of workers' careers. While most studies of bridge employment use cross-sectional data, this paper uses longitudinal data to examine actual bridge employment decisions, rather that prospective desires or potentially faulty after-the-fact retrospective accounts.

Suggested Citation

  • Chanjira Pengcharoen & Kenneth S. Shultz, 2010. "The influences on bridge employment decisions," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 322-336, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:31:y:2010:i:3:p:322-336

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. F. Thomas Juster & Richard Suzman, 1995. " An Overview of the Health and Retirement Study," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30, pages s7-s56.
    2. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1990. "Bridge Jobs and Partial Retirement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(4), pages 482-501, October.
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