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Older men bounce back: the re-emergence of older male workers


  • Steven Kennedy

    (Treasury, Government of Australia)

  • Alicia Da Costa

    (Treasury, Government of Australia)


Over the past five years, the labour force participation rate of older Australian men has risen after declining for over 25 years. In combination with ongoing increases in older women’s participation, the participation rate of older persons is now at its highest level on record. We describe some of the trends in older persons’ participation with a focus on older men and discuss some possible reasons why older men’s participation has reversed its long decline. We find that improved labour market conditions for older workers is the most likely explanation for the recent increase in participation but that the increase is supported by long-lived improvements in health and education.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Kennedy & Alicia Da Costa, 2006. "Older men bounce back: the re-emergence of older male workers," Economic Roundup, The Treasury, Australian Government, issue 4, pages 31-43, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:tsy:journl:journl_tsy_er_2006_4_1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Blau, David M, 1994. "Labor Force Dynamics of Older Men," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 117-156, January.
    2. Borland, J. & McDonald, J.T., 2000. "Displaced workers in Australia 1984-1996: Macroeconomic Conditions and Structural Change," Papers 2000-10, Tasmania - Department of Economics.
    3. Steven Kennedy & David Hedley, 2003. "A Note on Educational Attainment and Labour Force Participation in Australia," Treasury Working Papers 2003-03, The Treasury, Australian Government, revised Nov 2003.
    4. Merrilees, W J, 1983. "Pension Benefits and the Decline in Elderly Male Labour Force Participation," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 59(166), pages 260-270, September.
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    More about this item


    labour market; labour market participation; male workers; older workers; employment; unemployment; population aging;

    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J40 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - General


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