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The Labor Supply of Older Americans

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  • Alicia H. Munnell
  • Steven A. Sass

    (Center for Retirement Research, Boston College)

Abstract

This paper summarizes what is known about the labor supply of older men, defined as those 55 and over. The topic is of great interest because older individuals will comprise a much greater portion of the population, so their labor supply will have a significant impact on national output, tax revenues, and the cost of means-tested programs. Most importantly, a greater proportion of older individuals will need to work than do at present, because retirement income systems are contracting and working longer is the only way for most to ensure financial security in their old age. The focus is on men, because women’s work patterns reflect the increasing participation of cohorts over time as well as the factors that affect retirement behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Alicia H. Munnell & Steven A. Sass, 2007. "The Labor Supply of Older Americans," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2007-12, Center for Retirement Research, revised Jun 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:crr:crrwps:wp2007-12
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert W. Fairlie & Kanika Kapur & Susan Gates, 2016. "Job Lock: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 92-121, January.
    2. Fairlie, Robert W. & Kapur, Kanika & Gates, Susan, 2011. "Is employer-based health insurance a barrier to entrepreneurship?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 146-162, January.
    3. Wijayanti, F., 2018. "Younger vs. older workers in ASEAN countries: substitutes or complements?," R-Economy, Ural Federal University, Graduate School of Economics and Management, vol. 4(4), pages 151-157.
    4. Alonso-Ortiz, Jorge, 2014. "Social security and retirement across the OECD," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 300-316.
    5. Randall W. Eberts & Richard A. Hobbie, 2008. "Introduction," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers, in: Randall W. Eberts & Richard A. Hobbie (ed.), Older and Out of Work: Jobs and Social Insurance for a Changing Economy, chapter 1, pages 1-12, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    6. Kenneth J. Matheny, 2009. "Trends in the aggregate labor force," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 91(Jul), pages 297-310.
    7. Randall W. Eberts & Richard A. Hobbie (ed.), 2008. "Older and Out of Work: Jobs and Social Insurance for a Changing Economy," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number oow, December.
    8. Katharine G. Abraham & Susan N. Houseman, 2008. "Removing Barriers to Work for Older Americans," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers, in: Timothy J. Bartik & Susan N. Houseman (ed.), A Future of Good Jobs? America's Challenge in the Global Economy, chapter 5, pages 161-202, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

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