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Live Longer, Work Longer: The Changing Nature of the Labour Market for Older Workers in OECD Countries

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  • Martin, John P.

    () (University College Dublin)

Abstract

Population ageing poses stark dilemmas for labour markets, social protection systems and cultural norms. It will put strong downward pressure on labour supply, leading to falling real incomes and huge financial pressures on social protection systems unless there is an offsetting increase in employment rates. This is especially true for older workers whose employment rates are well below those of prime-age adults. In this paper, I examine how the labour market for older workers has evolved in OECD countries since 1990, what are the main forces at work, what are the main obstacles to working longer and how might public policies help overcome them. I also speculate about the future for older workers faced with the challenges and opportunities posed by the gig economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin, John P., 2018. "Live Longer, Work Longer: The Changing Nature of the Labour Market for Older Workers in OECD Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 11510, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11510
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mitchell Hoffman & Lisa B. Kahn & Danielle Li, 2015. "Discretion in Hiring," NBER Working Papers 21709, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Escudero, Verónica & Kluve, Jochen & López Mourelo, Elva & Pignatti, Clemente, 2017. "Active labour market programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean: Evicence from a meta analysis," Ruhr Economic Papers 715, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    3. Lazear, Edward P, 1981. "Agency, Earnings Profiles, Productivity, and Hours Restrictions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 606-620, September.
    4. Drydakis, Nick & MacDonald, Peter & Bozani, Vasiliki & Chiotis, Vangelis, 2017. "Inclusive recruitment? Hiring discrimination against older workers," GLO Discussion Paper Series 103, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    5. Bloom, David E. & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2013. "Ageing and productivity," FZID Discussion Papers 63-2012, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).
    6. Katharine Abraham & John Haltiwanger & Kristin Sandusky & James Spletzer, 2017. "Measuring the Gig Economy: Current Knowledge and Open Issues," NBER Chapters,in: Measuring and Accounting for Innovation in the 21st Century National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Escudero, Verónica & Kluve, Jochen & López Mourelo, Elva & Pignatti, Clemente, 2017. "Active labour market programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean: Evicence from a meta analysis," Ruhr Economic Papers 715, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    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. Martin, John P. & Whitehouse, Edward, 2008. "Reforming Retirement-Income Systems: Lessons from the Recent Experiences of OECD Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 3521, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    population ageing; older workers; retention and hiring rates; ageism; seniority pay; gig economy;

    JEL classification:

    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand

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