Turbulence and the Employment Experience of Older Workers

54 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2016

See all articles by Etienne Lalé

Etienne Lalé

University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) - Université du Québec à Montréal; CIRANO; IZA

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Abstract

This paper provides a unified account of the trends in unemployment and labor force participation pertaining to the employment experience of older male workers during the past half-century. We build an equilibrium life-cycle model with labor-market frictions and an operative labor supply margin, wherein economic turbulence à la Ljungqvist and Sargent (1998) interact with institutions in ways that deteriorate employment. The model explains simultaneously: (i) the fall in labor force participation in the United States, (ii) the similar but more pronounced decline in Europe alongside rising unemployment rates and (iii) differences across European countries in the role played respectively by unemployment and labor force participation. The model also shows that policies that fostered early retirement may have exacerbated the deterioration of European labor markets: raising early retirement incentives to reduce unemployment among older workers tends to increase unemployment at younger ages, especially in turbulent economic times and under stringent employment protection legislation.

Keywords: job search, job loss, turbulence, European unemployment, labor force participation

JEL Classification: E24, J21, J64

Suggested Citation

Lalé, Etienne, Turbulence and the Employment Experience of Older Workers. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10061. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2819342

Etienne Lalé (Contact Author)

University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) - Université du Québec à Montréal ( email )

CP 8888 Succ Centre Ville
Montréal, Québec H3C3P8
Canada

CIRANO ( email )

2020 rue University, 25th floor
Montreal H3C 3J7, Quebec
Canada

IZA ( email )

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Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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