Older Men: Pushed into Retirement by the Baby Boomers?
The United States has experienced over the past forty years an apparent correspondence between the pattern of retirement among men aged 55-69, and the proportion of workers aged 25-34 working part-year and/or part-time. The latter was an effect of overcrowding among the baby boomers as they moved through the labor market. The former is hypothesized here to be a function of the increasing difficulty older men experienced in obtaining "bridge jobs" – part-year and/or part-time – between career and retirement. It has been demonstrated in a series of studies that a large proportion (as many as two-thirds) of older men – especially those in lower-wage jobs – seek such bridge jobs before retirement. And in many cases these bridge jobs are not in the same industry or even occupation as the career job, leading one to suspect that in many cases there might be little transfer of skill or human capital. If this is the case, then the older workers would at least to some extent be in direct competition with younger workers for these jobs. Given difficulty in finding bridge jobs, a higher proportion of older workers might choose to enter retirement directly from career jobs, skipping the bridge jobs. A relative cohort size measure – the number of 25-34 year olds working part-year and/or part-time, relative to the number of older men, at the state level – has been shown here to be highly significant – both statistically and substantively – in explaining changes in older men's annual hours worked, labor force participation, and propensity to retire, and propensity to claim Social Security benefits. In general terms, relative cohort size can be said to have generated between 25-40% of the observed changes in these variables, with the strongest effects being on the propensity to claim Social Security benefits. Somewhat weaker effects were found for older women, in a companion to this study.
|Date of creation:||Dec 2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published in: Monthly Labor Review, 2012, 135 (5), 3-18.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
|Order Information:|| Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lynn A. Karoly & Jeannette A. Rogowski, 1994. "The Effect of Access to Post-Retirement Health Insurance on the Decision to Retire Early," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(1), pages 103-123, October.
- Diane J. Macunovich, 1999.
"The fortunes of one's birth: Relative cohort size and the youth labor market in the United States,"
Journal of Population Economics,
Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(2), pages 215-272.
- Diane Macunovich, 1999. "The Fortune of One's Birth: Relative Cohort Size and the Youth Labor Market in the United States," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 6, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
- Michael D. Giandrea & Kevin E. Cahill & Joseph F. Quinn, 2008.
"Self-Employment Transitions among Older American Workers with Career Jobs,"
Boston College Working Papers in Economics
684, Boston College Department of Economics.
- Michael D. Giandrea & Kevin E. Cahill & Joseph F. Quinn, Ph.D., 2008. "Self-Employment Transitions among Older American Workers with Career Jobs," Working Papers 418, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Christopher J. Ruhm, 1995. "Secular Changes in the Work and Retirement Patterns of Older Men," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 362-385.
- Kevin E. Cahill & Michael D. Giandrea & Joseph F. Quinn, 2008.
"A Micro-Level Analysis of Recent Increases in Labor Force Participation Among Older Workers,"
Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
wp2008-8, Center for Retirement Research, revised Feb 2008.
- Kevin E. Cahill & Michael D. Giandrea & Joseph F. Quinn, 2006. "A Micro-level Analysis of Recent Increases in Labor Force Participation among Older Workers," Working Papers 400, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Macunovich, Diane J., 2009. "Older Women: Pushed into Retirement by the Baby Boomers?," IZA Discussion Papers 4653, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Ruhm, Christopher J, 1990. "Bridge Jobs and Partial Retirement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(4), pages 482-501, October.
- Alan B. Krueger & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1991.
"The Effect of Social Security on Labor Supply: A Cohort Analysis of the Notch Generation,"
NBER Working Papers
3699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Krueger, Alan B & Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1992. "The Effect of Social Security on Labor Supply: A Cohort Analysis of the Notch Generation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(4), pages 412-37, October.
- Michael D. Giandrea & Kevin E. Cahill & Joseph F. Quinn, 2007. "Bridge Jobs: A Comparison across Cohorts," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 670, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 22 Dec 2008.
- Welch, Finis, 1979. "Effects of Cohort Size on Earnings: The Baby Boom Babies' Financial Bust," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S65-97, October.
- Finis Welch, 1979. "Effects of Cohort Size on Earnings: The Baby Boom Babies' Financial Bust," UCLA Economics Working Papers 146, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Joseph F. Quinn, 1999. "Has the Early Retirement Trend Reversed?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 424, Boston College Department of Economics.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4652. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.