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Conditions of Existence and Subjective Perceptions of Retirement: Quantitative Evidence from France

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  • Bénédicte Apouey

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

Abstract

This article explores subjective perceptions of retirement in France, using original quantitative data on the customers of a not-for-profit insurance company. The sample contains individuals aged 4084, who are either in the labour force (N=923) or retired (N=705). Perceptions of retirement are measured using closed questions on views of the retirement transition (these views can be positive, negative, or neutral) and definitions of retirement (retirement can be interpreted as a period of freedom, boredom, greater risk of precariousness, etc.). Using a number of different social indicators, we examine whether differences in social conditions translate into heterogeneous perceptions. We also investigate whether social differences in perceptions fade away with increasing age. Both working-age individuals and retirees generally have a positive view of the retirement transition and often define retirement as a period of freedom. Perceptions of retirement are shaped by social conditions: a higher level of education and income, greater wealth, better health, and stronger social involvement go hand in hand with rosier perceptions. Moreover, we uncover a strengthening of this social gradient with increasing age. Finally, perceptions are positively correlated with satisfaction in various domains, for retirees.

Suggested Citation

  • Bénédicte Apouey, 2020. "Conditions of Existence and Subjective Perceptions of Retirement: Quantitative Evidence from France," Working Papers halshs-02908456, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-02908456
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02908456
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Apouey, Bénédicte H., 2018. "Preparation for old age in France: The roles of preferences and expectations," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 15-23.
    2. Apouey, Bénédicte H. & Guven, Cahit & Senik, Claudia, 2019. "Retirement and Unexpected Health Shocks," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 116-123.
    3. Felicia Huppert & Nic Marks & Andrew Clark & Johannes Siegrist & Alois Stutzer & Joar Vittersø & Morten Wahrendorf, 2009. "Measuring Well-being Across Europe: Description of the ESS Well-being Module and Preliminary Findings," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 91(3), pages 301-315, May.
    4. Bénédicte Apouey, 2019. "Présentation de l'enquête Bien vieillir Harmonie Mutuelle," Working Papers halshs-02319136, HAL.
    5. Herman Oyen & Wilma Nusselder & Carol Jagger & Petra Kolip & Emmanuelle Cambois & Jean-Marie Robine, 2013. "Gender differences in healthy life years within the EU: an exploration of the “health–survival” paradox," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 58(1), pages 143-155, February.
    6. Dhaval Dave & R. Inas Rashad & Jasmina Spasojevic, 2008. "The Effects of Retirement on Physical and Mental Health Outcomes," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 75(2), pages 497-523, October.
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    Keywords

    Retirement; Career's end; Ageing; Perceptions; Social conditions; Satisfaction; France;
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