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Economic Development and Labor Force Participation of Older Persons

Robert L. Clark, E. Anne York and Richard Anker
Population Research and Policy Review
Vol. 18, No. 5 (Oct., 1999), pp. 411-432
Published by: Springer in cooperation with the Southern Demographic Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40230241
Page Count: 22
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Economic Development and Labor Force Participation of Older Persons
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Abstract

The effect of economic development on labor force participation rates of older men and women is examined using national data for 134 countries. The analysis provides new insights into the evolution of retirement patterns with rising personal income, slowing population growth, the aging of the population, and shifts in the composition of employment The analysis indicates a negative relationship between per capita income and labor force participation rates. This relationship is stronger for older men than for older women and is most apparent among middle income countries. An older population is associated with lower participation rates for older men and higher widow rates produce higher participation rates among older women. Industrial changes such as a decline in the proportion of the labor force employed in agriculture lower the proportion of older persons in the labor force. Finally, national social security policies are shown to impact the proportion of older persons that remains in the labor force.

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