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Facilitating longer working lives: International evidence on why and how

Authors
  • Wise, David A.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Demography
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2010
Volume
47
Issue
Suppl 1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1353/dem.2010.0000
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
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Abstract

The article advances the view that social and economic choices in societies can reasonably adjust as the age structure of the population changes; in particular, some of the bounty of longer lives can reasonably be allocated to prolonging the labor force participation of older workers. Data on reductions in mortality and, in some countries, declines in disability are presented in ways that help to clarify that prolonged working lives may be a natural concomitant of living longer. The article reviews the problems inherent in the combination of living longer and reducing labor force participation at older ages. It discusses two ways to facilitate longer working lives: (1) eliminating penalties on work at older ages—inherent in the provisions of the social security programs in many countries—that induce older persons to leave the labor force at younger ages; and (2) correcting a false rationale—the “boxed economy” view of the labor market—that is often used to support retention of the provisions that induce older persons to leave the labor force.

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