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Population aging and the labor market : the case of Sri Lanka

  • Vodopivec, Milan
  • Arunatilake, Nisha

Sri Lanka's population is predicted to age vary fast during the next 50 years, bringing a slowdown of labor force growth and after 2030its contraction. Based on a 2006 representative survey of old people in Sri Lanka, the paper examines labor market consequences of this process, focusing on retirement pathways and the determinants of labor market withdrawal. The paper finds that a vast majority of Sri Lankan old workers are engaged in the informal sector, work long hours, and are paid less than younger workers. Moreover, the paper shows that labor market duality carries over to old age: (i) previous employment is the most important predictor of the retirement pathway; (ii) older workers fall into two categories: civil servants and formal private sector workers, who generally stop working before they reach 60 because they are forced to do so by mandatory retirement regulations, and casual workers and the self-employed, who work until very old age (or death) due to poverty and insufficient income and who stop working primarily because of poor health; and (iii) the option of part-time work is used primarily by workers who held regular jobs in their prime age employment, but not by casual workers and self-employed.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Social Protection Discussion Papers with number 44927.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2008
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:44927
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  1. Macours, Karen & Vakis, Renos, 2008. "Seasonal Migration and Early Childhood Development," Working Paper Series RP2008/48, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  2. Amin, Mohammad, 2007. "Labor regulation and employment in India's retail stores," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4314, The World Bank.
  3. Milazzo, Annamaria & Grosh, Margaret, 2008. "Social safety nets in World Bank lending and analytical work : FY2002 - 2007," Social Protection Discussion Papers 44730, The World Bank.
  4. Palacios, Robert & Whitehouse, Edward, 2006. "Civil-service pension schemes around the world," MPRA Paper 14796, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Peracchi, Franco & Perotti, Valeria & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2007. "Informality and social protection : preliminary results from pilot surveys in Bulgaria and Colombia," Social Protection Discussion Papers 41541, The World Bank.
  6. Barrett , Christopher B & Carter , Michael R & Ikegami , Munenobu, 2008. "Poverty traps and social protection," Social Protection Discussion Papers 42752, The World Bank.
  7. Almeida, Rita & Carneiro, Pedro, 2009. "Enforcement of labor regulation and firm size," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 28-46, March.
  8. Gordon Betcherman & Niels-Hugo Blunch, 2008. "The limited job prospects of displaced workers: evidence from two cities in China," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 187-207, September.
  9. Vodopivec, Milan & Dolenc, Primoz, 2008. "Live longer, work longer : making it happen in the labor market," Social Protection Discussion Papers 42471, The World Bank.
  10. Vodopivec, Milan & Tong, Minna Hahn, 2008. "China : improving unemployment insurance," Social Protection Discussion Papers 44779, The World Bank.
  11. Braithwaite , Jeanine & Mont , Daniel, 2008. "Disability and poverty : a survey of World Bank poverty assessments and implications," Social Protection Discussion Papers 42754, The World Bank.
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