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The Effect of Local Labor Demand Conditions on the Labor Supply Outcomes of Older Americans

  • Nicole Maestas

    (RAND Corporation)

  • Kathleen Mullen

    (RAND Corporation)

  • David Powell

    (RAND Corporation)

A vast literature in labor economics has studied the relationship between local labor demand shifts and the outcomes of the working age population. This literature has ignored the impacts that these shocks have on older individuals, though there are reasons to believe that the effects are not uniform by age. Using data from the Census and the Health and Retirement Study, we measure the effects of local labor demand conditions on a host of outcomes for older individuals including employment, retirement, Social Security claiming, wages, and job characteristics. We find that local labor demand conditions do affect the labor and retirement behavior of the older segment of the population, including Social Security claiming decisions. We also find evidence that older individuals are especially responsive to local labor demand shifts in the service industry, which we show has observably different job characteristics that may be especially attractive to older workers. Similarly, we find evidence that labor demand shocks not only increase the wages of older workers but also make the jobs more attractive on non-pecuniary dimensions.

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Paper provided by Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in its series Discussion Papers with number 13-014.

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Date of creation: Dec 2013
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Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:13-014
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  1. Bound, John & Holzer, Harry J, 2000. "Demand Shifts, Population Adjustments, and Labor Market Outcomes during the 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 20-54, January.
  2. Santos Silva, J.M.C & Tenreyro, Silvana, 2005. "The Log of Gravity," CEPR Discussion Papers 5311, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Nicole Maestas & Julie Zissimopoulos, 2010. "How Longer Work Lives Ease the Crunch of Population Aging," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 139-60, Winter.
  4. Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 2004. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 10667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. David H. Autor & David Dorn, 2009. "The Growth of Low Skill Service Jobs and the Polarization of the U.S. Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 15150, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Donghoon Lee & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2006. "Intersectoral Labor Mobility and the Growth of the Service Sector," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 1-46, 01.
  8. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson, 2013. "Untangling Trade and Technology: Evidence from Local Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 18938, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Joanna Lahey, 2006. "Age, Women, and Hiring: An Experimental Study," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2006-23, Center for Retirement Research, revised Nov 2006.
  10. Abigail Wozniak, 2010. "Are College Graduates More Responsive to Distant Labor Market Opportunities?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(4), pages 944-970.
  11. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
  12. David H. Autor & Mark G. Duggan, 2003. "The Rise In The Disability Rolls And The Decline In Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 157-205, February.
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