Non-Monetary Job Characteristics and Employment Transitions at Older Ages
35 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2018
Date Written: November 21, 2016
This paper studies to what extent job characteristics such as physical and cognitive demands, use of technologies, responsibility, difficulty, stress, and social interaction are related to full or partial retirement. We study employment transitions and retirement expectations of older workers by exploiting the wealth of information about individuals over the age of 50 in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and characteristics of different occupations provided by the Occupation Information Network (O*NET) database. Controlling for basic demographics, wages, benefits, health, cognitive ability, personality, and other personal characteristics, we find strong and statistically significant relationships between labor force transitions and job characteristics. These relationships are typically more pronounced and more precisely estimated when we use objective job attributes taken from the O*NET than when we use self-reported job characteristics taken from the HRS. Self-reported characteristics are more strongly related to moves from full-time to part-time employment. Similar patterns are observed when we use retirement intentions (distance from planned retirement and subjective probabilities of working full-time at older ages) as dependent variable. Our findings indicate potential factors that may affect predicted retirement patterns and suggest alternative ways to individuals’ attachment to the labor force.
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