IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bls/wpaper/ec130090.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Are Gender Differences Emerging in the Retirement Patterns of the Early Boomers?

Author

Listed:
  • Kevin E. Cahill,

    () (Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College)

  • Michael D. Giandrea,

    () (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

  • Joseph F. Quinn

    () (Boston College)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin E. Cahill, & Michael D. Giandrea, & Joseph F. Quinn, 2013. "Are Gender Differences Emerging in the Retirement Patterns of the Early Boomers?," Working Papers 468, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bls:wpaper:ec130090
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.bls.gov/ore/pdf/ec130090.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Tunga Kantarci & Arthur Soest, 2008. "Gradual Retirement: Preferences and Limitations," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(2), pages 113-144, June.
    2. 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.
    3. 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 503-545, July.
    4. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1990. "Bridge Jobs and Partial Retirement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(4), pages 482-501, October.
    5. Michael D. Giandrea & Kevin E. Cahill & Joseph F. Quinn, Ph.D., 2008. "Self-Employment Transitions among Older American Workers with Career Jobs," Working Papers 418, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    6. 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.
    7. 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 207-211, May.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economics of Aging; Partial Retirement; Gradual Retirement;

    JEL classification:

    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. 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). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/blsgvus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.