Older Workers and Working Time

26 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2013

See all articles by David N.F. Bell

David N.F. Bell

University of Stirling - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Alasdair Rutherford

University of Stirling


Contrary to much of the established literature, this paper finds that though many older workers would prefer to reduce their working hours (the overemployed), there is a significant group who would like to work longer hours (the underemployed). And contrary to the assumption that the self-employed are more easily able than employees to select a desired combination of hours and the wage rate, this paper finds that older self-employed workers are more likely to wish to adjust their hours, both upward and downward than are employees.A new index of underemployment is used to show that for the UK, since the onset of the Great Recession, underemployment among older workers has been growing more rapidly than unemployment. Using longitudinal data from the UK Labour Force Survey, the paper investigates the effects of overemployment and underemployment on transitions from employment and self-employment into other labour market states. It confirms that overemployment is a significant predictor of retirement among employees while underemployed employees are less likely to retire.

Keywords: retirement, working time, overemployment, underemployment, self-employment

JEL Classification: J01, J11, J21, J22, J23, J38, J64

Suggested Citation

Bell, David N.F. and Rutherford, Alasdair, Older Workers and Working Time. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7546. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2314841

David N.F. Bell (Contact Author)

University of Stirling - Department of Economics ( email )

Stirling, Scotland FK9 4LA
United Kingdom
+44 1786 467 486 (Phone)
+44 1786 467 469 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

Alasdair Rutherford

University of Stirling ( email )

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics