Population ageing and labour markets
In the face of rapid population ageing, the long-run fall in effective retirement ages in most OECD countries needs to be reversed. There are some positive signs that this is beginning to happen, but early exit from the labour force, i.e. well before official old-age pension ages, still remains a very common phenomenon in OECD countries. In this paper we first compare recent trends in the labour situation of older workers across OECD countries. This is followed by a discussion of supply-side and demand-side factors that have been driving these trends. In particular, new evidence is presented on incentives to retire that are embedded in pension systems. We conclude that recent reforms in most countries in this area are working in the direction of encouraging later retirement, although in a few countries there are still substantial incentives to stop working early. We then examine to what extent there are barriers on the demand side which may also be discouraging work at an older age such as age discrimination, seniority rules in wage setting, low training participation and employment protection rules. We conclude that countries have also begun to tackle these barriers as well. Nevertheless, while considerable pension reform has undoubtedly strengthened incentives to continue working at an older age, further action is still required on the demand side to ensure that those older workers who wish to work longer can do so. Copyright 2010, Oxford University Press.