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Santé et pénibilité en fin de vie active: Une comparaison européenne


  • Catherine Pollak

    () (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)


The aim of this paper is to explore the effects of different national employment schemes on job satisfaction and perceived health of older workers. In a context of European "Active ageing" policies, keeping individuals at work who suffer from weak health or strenuous working conditions has become an important issue. Policies aiming to retain older workers at work have mainly focused on financial incentives and the restriction of early exit schemes. However, in some countries, the promotion of better health in the workplace, by an improvement of working conditions of older workers, has been a key feature of Active ageing policies. In order to apprehend this institutional context, we compare the work ability of the ageing workforce in eleven European countries, using factorial analysis on individual data (Share survey, 2004). By work ability, we mean the subjective health of individuals and their reported working conditions (physical and psychological demand, decision latitude, social support, and employment perspectives). The analysis shows that seniors from Nordic and continental countries are more satisfied in terms of working conditions and health than seniors from Mediterranean countries. This result is striking considering that the healthy worker effect can be expected to be stronger in the latter group, leading to a younger and healthier sample of older individuals still at work. Several hypotheses on career-end management in relation to health arise from the exploratory analysis. Countries that have adopted a Nordic strategy for employment perform well not only in terms of employment rates but also in terms of working conditions. This indicates that they achieve to keep older workers in weaker health in employment by compensation mechanisms. The disadvantaged position of France reveals that older workers are also affected by work intensification, since they report poor working conditions despite good levels of self perceived health.

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine Pollak, 2009. "Santé et pénibilité en fin de vie active: Une comparaison européenne," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00396231, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:hal-00396231
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