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Micro Determinants of Labor Force Status Among Older Americans

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  • Hugo Benitez-Silva

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Abstract

This paper uses the first three waves of the Health and Retirement Survey (HRS) to investigate the determinants of labor force status among older Americans. Using transitions at two-year intervals we find that after being retired or unemployed, those who are actively searching for a job have a higher probability of returning to work. We also find that being in good physical and mental health--measured by objective and subjective variables--increases the chances of becoming employed, as does having worked in the last twelve months. Those who are receiving disability payments are less likely to make this transition. If we focus on those who are married, we find a preference for joint leisure through the influence of the labor force status, health and age of the respondent's partner on the transition decisions. We investigate transitions in and out of employment and self-employment, and for subsamples of males and females. Using monthly employment dummies for the period 1989-97, we analyze monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual transitions and find that most of our conclusions are independent of the periodicity but that the effects of the variables vary across specifications.

Suggested Citation

  • Hugo Benitez-Silva, 2000. "Micro Determinants of Labor Force Status Among Older Americans," Department of Economics Working Papers 00-07, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:nys:sunysb:00-07
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    File URL: http://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/economics/research/papers/2000/00-07.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Flinn, Christopher J & Heckman, James J, 1983. "Are Unemployment and Out of the Labor Force Behaviorally Distinct Labor Force States?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 28-42, January.
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    16. Hugo Benítez-Silva & Moshe Buchinsky & Hiu Man Chan & Sofia Cheidvasser & John Rust, 2004. "How large is the bias in self-reported disability?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 649-670.
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    18. Stevens, Ann Huff, 1997. "Persistent Effects of Job Displacement: The Importance of Multiple Job Losses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 165-188, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nicole Maestas, 2007. "Back to Work: Expectations and Realizations of Work after Retirement," Working Papers 196.2, RAND Corporation.
    2. Gabriela Adriana Sala, 2011. "Empleo y desempleo entre los adultos mayores argentinos," Working Papers 7, Instituto de Estudios Laborales y del Desarrollo Económico (IELDE) - Universidad Nacional de Salta - Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Jurídicas y Sociales.
    3. Benitez-Silva, Hugo & Dwyer, Debra S., 2006. "Expectation formation of older married couples and the rational expectations hypothesis," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 191-218, April.
    4. Ajantha, Sisira Kumara & Tharaka, Sameera Senanayaka, 2012. "The Employment Status of the Elderly in Sri Lanka: Patterns and Determinants," MPRA Paper 42977, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 30 Nov 2012.
    5. Hugo Benitez-Silva, 2001. "A Dynamic Model of Job Search Behavior over the Life Cycle with Empirical Applications," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 100, Society for Computational Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor Supply; Labor Force Transitions; Retirement Decisions; Health and Retirement Survey;

    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor

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