Are Gender Differences Emerging in the Retirement Patterns of the Early Boomers?
Controlling for career employment later in life, the retirement patterns of men and women in America have resembled one another for much of the past two decades. Is this relationship coming to an end? Recent research suggests that the retirement patterns of the Early Boomers – those born between 1948 and 1953 – have diverged from those of earlier cohorts. Gender differences appear to be emerging as well in the way that career men and women exit the labor force, after nearly two decades of similarities. This paper explores these gender differences in detail to help determine whether we are witnessing a break in trend or merely a short-term occurrence. We use data on three cohorts of older Americans from the nationally-representative, longitudinal Health and Retirement Study (HRS) that began in 1992. We explore by gender the types of job transitions that occur later in life and explore, in particular, the role of four potentially relevant determinants: the presence of dependent children; a parent in need of caregiving assistance; occupational status on the career job; and self-employment status. We find that, among career men and women, child and parental caregiving are not significant drivers of the retirement transitions of the Early Boomers, all else equal. Gender differences that may exist with respect to these characteristics are therefore unlikely to lead to persistent gender differences in retirement patterns. In contrast, self employment continues to be a statistically significant determinant of bridge job transitions and phased retirement. This finding, combined with the fact that men are much more likely than women to be self employed later in life, could lead to some differences by gender going forward, though the impact is likely to be limited given that the large majority of older workers are in wage-and-salary employment. Older Americans – both men and women – are responding to their economic environment by working later in life and exiting the labor force gradually. While some determinants of these decisions likely impact men and women differently, gender differences with respect to the retirement patterns of the Early Boomers appear to be the result of broader macroeconomic forces. The evidence to date suggests that gender differences may dissipate as the recovery ensues.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 2 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E. Room 2860, Washington, D. C. 20212|
Phone: (202) 606-5900
Fax: (202) 606-7890
Web page: http://www.bls.gov
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Sunden, Annika E & Surette, Brian J, 1998. "Gender Differences in the Allocation of Assets in Retirement Savings Plans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 207-11, May.
- Dora L. Costa, 1998. "The Evolution of Retirement: An American Economic History, 1880-1990," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number cost98-1, March.
- Tunga Kantarci & Arthur Soest, 2008. "Gradual Retirement: Preferences and Limitations," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(2), pages 113-144, June.
- Michael D. Giandrea & Kevin E. Cahill & Joseph F. Quinn, Ph.D., 2008.
"Self-Employment Transitions among Older American Workers with Career Jobs,"
418, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Michael D. Giandrea & Kevin E. Cahill & Joseph F. Quinn, 2008. "Self-Employment Transitions among Older American Workers with Career Jobs," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 684, Boston College Department of Economics.
- Gustman, Alan L & Steinmeier, Thomas L, 2000. "Retirement in Dual-Career Families: A Structural Model," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 503-45, July.
- Gary Burtless & Joseph F. Quinn, 2002.
"Is Working Longer the Answer for an Aging Workforce?,"
Issues in Brief
ib2002-11, Center for Retirement Research, revised Dec 2002.
- Gary Burtless & Joseph F. Quinn, 2002. "Is Working Longer the Answer for an Aging Workforce?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 550, Boston College Department of Economics.
- Kevin E. Cahill & Michael D. Giandrea & Joseph F. Quinn, 2013. "New Evidence on Self-Employment Transitions Among Older Americans with Career Jobs," Working Papers 463, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Ruhm, Christopher J, 1990. "Bridge Jobs and Partial Retirement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(4), pages 482-501, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bls:wpaper:ec130090. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gregory Kurtzon)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.