DP284 The Labour Force Participation of Older Men in Britain, 1951-81

Author(s): Paul A Johnson
Publication Date: December 1988
Keyword(s): Elderly, Employment, Labour Force, Retirement, Trade Unions
JEL(s): 813, 824, 826, 918
Programme Areas: Human Resources
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=284

This paper evaluates the relative impact of range of health, economic and structural factors on the employment experience of older male workers in Britain in the 30 years since 1951. It is based on a cross sectional analysis of data on age of workforce in 34 industrial sectors drawn from the decennial censuses from 1951 to 1981. It finds that early retirement is influenced primarily by economic factors, although health becomes important in 1981. By showing that retirement and early retirement behavior are influenced by different factors, and that the importance of these factors has changed over time, this paper demonstrates why earlier research focusing on monocausal explanations has been unable to generate robust results.