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Are Older Workers Willing to Learn?

Author

Listed:
  • Ruhose, Jens
  • Thomsen, Stephan L.
  • Weilage, Insa

Abstract

Adult education can mitigate the productivity decline in aging societies if older workers are willing to learn. We examine a generous partial retirement reform in Germany that led to a massive increase in early retirement. Using county-level administrative data on voluntary education activities, we employ a difference-in-differences approach for identification. The estimates show a strong increase in participation in adult education, specifically in cognitively demanding courses, for early retirees who would have continued working in the absence of the reform. This supports the notion of an intrinsic willingness of older individuals to acquire skills and abilities independent of financial incentives.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruhose, Jens & Thomsen, Stephan L. & Weilage, Insa, 2020. "Are Older Workers Willing to Learn?," GLO Discussion Paper Series 580, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:580
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/221744/1/GLO-DP-0580.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomsen, Stephan L. & Trunzer, Johannes, 2020. "Did the Bologna Process Challenge the German Apprenticeship System? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," GLO Discussion Paper Series 690, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    partial retirement; early retirement; older workers; adult education; generalized difference-in-differences;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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