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Trends in Labor Force Participation of Older Workers in Spain

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  • Pilar García-Gómez
  • Sergi Jimenez-Martin
  • Judit Vall Castelló

Abstract

Similar to other OECD countries, labor force participation rates of Spanish older workers were falling until the mid-1990s when there was a reversal in the trend. Labor force participation rates of Spanish men have been increasing since then, although at a slower pace than in other OECD countries. We explore to what extent several factors can be behind these trends. First, we conclude that the (old-age) social security system (except perhaps for the disability component) has played a marginal (at most) role on this reversal given the lack of major changes in social security benefits until the last set of reforms in 2011 and 2013. Second, we also rule out that changes in the health status of the population are responsible for the reversal of this trend. Finally, we find that aggregate economic conditions, and differences across cohorts in both the skill composition and the labor force attachment of wives are potential drivers of these observed changes.

Suggested Citation

  • Pilar García-Gómez & Sergi Jimenez-Martin & Judit Vall Castelló, 2018. "Trends in Labor Force Participation of Older Workers in Spain," NBER Working Papers 24637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24637
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jean-Olivier Hairault & François Langot & Thepthida Sopraseuth, 2010. "Distance to Retirement and The Job Search of Older Workers: The Case For Delaying Retirement Age," Post-Print hal-00517107, HAL.
    2. J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Clara I. González, 2016. "From Bismarck to Beveridge: the other pension reform in Spain," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 461-490, November.
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    4. Florentino Felgueroso & Sergi Jiménez Martín, 2009. "The "New Growth Model". How and with Whom?," Working Papers 2009-39, FEDEA.
    5. Jean-Olivier Hairault & Francois Langot & Thepthida Sopraseuth, 2010. "Distance to Retirement and Older Workers' Employment: The Case for Delaying the Retirement Age," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(5), pages 1034-1076, September.
    6. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub99-1, January.
    7. Boldrin Michele & Jiménez-Martín Sergi & Peracchi Franco, 2001. "Sistema de pensiones y mercado de trabajo en España," Books, Fundacion BBVA / BBVA Foundation, edition 1, number 201120, December.
    8. Tammy Schirle, 2008. "Why Have the Labor Force Participation Rates of Older Men Increased since the Mid-1990s?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(4), pages 549-594, October.
    9. Juan J. Dolado & Marcel Jansen & Florentino Felgueroso & Andrés Fuentes & Anita Wölfl, 2013. "Youth Labour Market Performance in Spain and its Determinants: A Micro-Level Perspective," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1039, OECD Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dean Hyslop & Amy Rice & Hayden Skilling, 2019. "Understanding labour market developments in New Zealand, 1986-2017," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2019/02, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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