Calling Older Workers Back to Work

A new GLO Discussion Paper relates the rising share of older workers in advanced countries to gains in educational attainment, changes in labor market policies (such as the tax benefit system, and pension reforms), as well as (although moderated by automation) to urbanization and the increasing role of services.

The Global Labor Organization (GLO) is an independent, non-partisan and non-governmental organization that functions as an international network and virtual platform to stimulate global research, debate and collaboration.

Francesco Grigoli

GLO Discussion Paper No. 762, 2021

Calling Older Workers Back to Work Download PDF
Grigoli, Francesco & Koczan, Zsoka & Topalova, Petia

GLO Fellow Francesco Grigoli

Author Abstract: Population aging in advanced economies could have significant macroeconomic implications, unless more individuals choose to participate in labor markets. In this context, the steep increase in the share of older workers who remain economically active since the mid- 1990s is an overlooked yet encouraging trend. We identify the drivers of the rise in participation of the elderly relying on cross-country and individual-level data from advanced economies over the past three decades. Our findings suggest that the bulk of the increase in their participation is driven by gains in educational attainment and changes in labor market policies, such as the tax benefit system, and pension reforms. Urbanization and the increasing role of services also contributed, while automation weighed on their participation.

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GLO Discussion Papers are research and policy papers of the GLO Network which are widely circulated to encourage discussion. Provided in cooperation with EconStor, a service of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, GLO Discussion Papers are among others listed in RePEc (see IDEAS,  EconPapers)Complete list of all GLO DPs – downloadable for free.


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