Employment Trends by Age in the United States: Why are Older Workers Different?

57 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2013

See all articles by Sudipto Banerjee

Sudipto Banerjee

Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)

David M. Blau

Ohio State University (OSU) - Economics

Date Written: June 2013

Abstract

Employment trends in the U.S. were similar across age groups in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s: male employment rates declined or were flat at all ages and female employment rates increased or were flat at all ages. But employment trends diverged more recently, with employment rising at older ages and falling at younger ages, for both men and women. This paper seeks to explain this divergence. We estimate labor supply models for men and women, allowing differences in behavior across age groups. The results indicate that changes in the educational composition of the population and Social Security reforms can account for a modest proportion of the divergence. An additional factor for men was the increase in age at first marriage. However, much of the divergence remains unexplained.

Keywords: older workers, labor force participation, Social Security

Suggested Citation

Banerjee, Sudipto and Blau, David M., Employment Trends by Age in the United States: Why are Older Workers Different? (June 2013). Michigan Retirement Research Center Research Paper No. 2013-285. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2306610 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2306610

Sudipto Banerjee (Contact Author)

Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) ( email )

1100 13th Street, NW
Suite 878
Washington, DC 20005-4204
United States
202-775-6306 (Phone)
202-775-6312 (Fax)

David M. Blau

Ohio State University (OSU) - Economics ( email )

410 Arps Hall
1945 N. High St.
Columbus, OH 43210-1172
United States

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