Understanding Job Transitions and Retirement Expectations Using Stated Preferences for Job Characteristics

26 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2019

See all articles by Nicole Maestas

Nicole Maestas

Harvard Medical School - Department of Health Care Policy

Kathleen J. Mullen

RAND Corporation

David Powell

RAND Corporation

Till Von Wachter

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics

Jeffrey B. Wenger

RAND Corporation; American University - School of Public Affairs

Date Written: February 2019

Abstract

As the population ages in the United States and other countries, encouraging older individuals to work would help counter increasing dependency ratios and improve national economic outcomes. Extending working lives is likely not simply a function of improving monetary incentives. Instead, job characteristics are also potentially important, yet understudied, determinants of whether individuals near retirement remain in the labor force. We use previously-collected data on job characteristics and preferences for job characteristics and work at older ages from the 2015 American Working Conditions Survey. We match the 2015 data with new data on job transitions collected three years after the initial survey. We use the matched data to study the relationship between preferences for job characteristics and actual job transitions. We then estimate heterogeneity in preferences for job characteristics as a function of age and plans for retirement. We test whether preferences differ for older workers ages 50 to 61 with different self-perceived probabilities of working in the future. Finally, we test whether preferences differ for retirement-aged individuals ages 62 and older who are working or not working.

Keywords: labor force participation, older workers, second career, unretirement

Suggested Citation

Maestas, Nicole and Mullen, Kathleen J. and Powell, David and Von Wachter, Till and Wenger, Jeffrey B., Understanding Job Transitions and Retirement Expectations Using Stated Preferences for Job Characteristics (February 2019). Michigan Retirement Research Center Research Paper No. 2019-396. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3376731 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3376731

Nicole Maestas

Harvard Medical School - Department of Health Care Policy ( email )

180 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States

Kathleen J. Mullen

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States
310-393-0411 x6265 (Phone)
310-260-8156 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://works.bepress.com/kathleen_mullen

David Powell (Contact Author)

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

Till Von Wachter

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics ( email )

8283 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1477
United States

Jeffrey B. Wenger

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA
United States
310 393 0411 (Phone)

American University - School of Public Affairs ( email )

Washington, DC 20016
United States

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