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Understanding the Labour Market for Older Workers: A Survey

  • Heywood, John S.


    (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)

  • Siebert, W. Stanley


    (University of Birmingham)

The paper asks why retirement can be so abrupt in countries such as France (½% of the workforce over 65), yet staged in Japan (8% over 65). We find part of the answer in tax laws that prevent people working and receiving a pension, and make little allowance for fair pension increases if retirement is deferred. While these laws have begun to change, we find another part of the answer in employment protection laws. These laws coupled with inflexible collectively agreed wages make employers choosy about hiring the old. The advent of "age discrimination" law reinforces employment protection and may well reduce older workers' hiring opportunities especially where wages are rigid.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4033.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4033
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  7. T. Schirle, 2007. "Why Have the Labour Force Participation Rates of Older Men Increased Since the Mid 1990s," Working Papers eg0045, Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Economics, revised 2007.
  8. Richard Disney & Sarah Smith, 2002. "The Labour Supply Effect of the Abolition of the Earnings Rule for Older Workers in the United Kingdom," CeRP Working Papers 17, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  9. Flabbi, Luca & Ichino, Andrea, 1998. "Productivity, Seniority and Wages: New Evidence from Personnel Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 1966, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  18. Dohmen, Thomas, 2003. "Performance, Seniority and Wages: Formal Salary Systems and Individual Earnings Profiles," IZA Discussion Papers 935, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. John S. Heywood & Lok-Sang Ho & Xiangdong Wei, 1999. "The Determinants of Hiring Older Workers: Evidence from Hong Kong," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(3), pages 444-459, April.
  20. Walter Y. Oi, 1962. "Labor as a Quasi-Fixed Factor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 538.
  21. Zabalza, A. & Pissarides, C. & Barton, M., 1980. "Social security and the choice between full-time work, part-time work and retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 245-276, October.
  22. Adams, Scott J., 2004. "Age discrimination legislation and the employment of older workers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 219-241, April.
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  24. Barry T. Hirsch & David A. Macpherson & Melissa A. Hardy, 2000. "Occupational Age Structure and Access for Older Workers," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(3), pages 401-418, April.
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