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Labor Force Transitions at Older Ages: The Roles of Work Environment and Personality

Author

Listed:
  • Marco Angrisani

    (University of Southern California and RAND Corporation)

  • Michael D. Hurd

    (RAND Corporation)

  • Erik Meijer

    (University of Southern California and RAND Corporation)

  • Andrew M. Parker

    (RAND Corporation)

  • Susann Rohwedder

    (RAND Corporation)

Abstract

Besides compensation and financial incentives, several other work-related factors may affect individual retirement decisions. Specifically, job characteristics such as autonomy, skill variety, task significance and difficulty, stress and physical demands, peer pressure and relations with co-workers, play a crucial role in determining psychological commitment to work at older ages. While financial preparedness for retirement and health shocks are often cited as main predictors of the choice to exit the labor force, there exists relatively little research documenting the extent to which the work environment itself and its interaction with economic variables influence retirement decisions. We document that job characteristics are associated with labor force transitions at older ages, in particular transitions to retirement and part-time employment. Additionally, we show that while personality traits do not directly drive labor force transitions, the effect of job characteristics on labor supply outcomes varies with the “intensity” of personality traits. We also document that job characteristics themselves are strongly related to personality traits. This suggests that, depending on their personality, individuals may select into specific jobs, whose characteristics ultimately shape their retirement paths.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Angrisani & Michael D. Hurd & Erik Meijer & Andrew M. Parker & Susann Rohwedder, 2013. "Labor Force Transitions at Older Ages: The Roles of Work Environment and Personality," Working Papers wp295, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp295
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    File URL: http://www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/Papers/pdf/wp295.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eric French, 2005. "The Effects of Health, Wealth, and Wages on Labour Supply and Retirement Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(2), pages 395-427.
    2. Gustman, Alan L & Steinmeier, Thomas L, 1986. "A Structural Retirement Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 555-584, May.
    3. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Schurer, Stefanie, 2012. "The stability of big-five personality traits," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 11-15.
    4. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1984. "Partial Retirement and the Analysis of Retirement Behavior," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 37(3), pages 403-415, April.
    5. John Rust & Christopher Phelan, 1997. "How Social Security and Medicare Affect Retirement Behavior in a World of Incomplete Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 781-832, July.
    6. Fevang, Elisabeth & Kverndokk, Snorre & Røed, Knut, 2008. "Informal Care and Labor Supply," IZA Discussion Papers 3717, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Hurd, Michael D, 1990. "Research on the Elderly: Economic Status, Retirement, and Consumption and Saving," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 565-637, June.
    8. Almlund, Mathilde & Duckworth, Angela Lee & Heckman, James & Kautz, Tim, 2011. "Personality Psychology and Economics," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    9. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1990. "Bridge Jobs and Partial Retirement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(4), pages 482-501, October.
    10. Michael D. Hurd & Susann Rohwedder, 2011. "Economic Preparation for Retirement," NBER Chapters,in: Investigations in the Economics of Aging, pages 77-113 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Jule Specht & Boris Egloff & Stefan C. Schmukle, 2011. "Stability and Change of Personality across the Life Course: The Impact of Age and Major Life Events on Mean-Level and Rank-Order Stability of the Big Five," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 377, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    12. Laura Crespo, 2006. "Caring For Parents And Employment Status Of European Mid-Life Women," Working Papers wp2006_0615, CEMFI.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Angrisani & Arie Kapteyn & Erik Meijer, 2015. "Nonmonetary Job Characteristics and Employment Transitions at Older Ages," Working Papers wp326, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    2. Grevenbrock, Nils & Groneck, Max & Ludwig, Alexander & Zimper, Alexander, 2015. "Biased Survival Beliefs, Psychological and Cognitive Explanations, and the Demand for Life Insurances," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113203, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. repec:bla:labour:v:31:y:2017:i:2:p:127-152 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Brooke Helppie McFall & Amanda Sonnega & Robert J. Willis & Peter Hudomiet, 2015. "Occupations and Work Characteristics: Effects on Retirement Expectations and Timing," Working Papers wp331, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    5. Shanthi Ramnath & John B. Shoven & Sita Nataraj Slavov, 2017. "Pathways to Retirement through Self-Employment," NBER Working Papers 23551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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