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Labor force participation by the elderly in Mexico

  • Edwin van Gameren


    (El Colegio de México)

A brief review of the aging of the Mexican population, the high labor force participation of elderly, and the lack of retirement pensions, is followed by a causal empirical analysis using a panel data set (Mexican Health and Aging Study, MHAS) of Mexicans aged 50 and more. We find that the labor force participation of elderly men is affected by their economic situation; in particular the availability of a retirement pension (after contributions to a pension plan earlier in their life) reduces participation. A better health raises male participation rates, while the health effect is absent for women. The opposite effect, from labor force participation on health status, is negligible for both genders. Access to health services, which is obtained if the partner or a child is working, reduces participation rates. Additional analysis indicates that the same variables influence the choice for a job in the formal or the informal sector, and whether a job is held in addition to a pension. The results suggest that a redesign of the social security including retirement pensions and health care services has implications for the individuals’ participation decisions, and therefore for future contributions to the insurance and pension plans.

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Paper provided by El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos in its series Serie documentos de trabajo del Centro de Estudios Económicos with number 2010-06.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:emx:ceedoc:2010-06
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