Discouraged Workers? Job Search Outcomes of Older Workers

TitleDiscouraged Workers? Job Search Outcomes of Older Workers
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsMaestas, N, Li, X
InstitutionThe University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center
Call Numbernewpubs20070125_MRRCwp133
KeywordsEmployment and Labor Force
Abstract

Many have suggested we adopt policies that explicitly encourage the elderly to work. Behind this suggestion is the assumption that if an older person desires a job, one will be found; however, little is known about the extent to which this is true, and in the Health and Retirement Study, many more respondents say they expect to work after retirement than actually undertake work. This raises an important question: To what extent can the elderly readily find suitable jobs? In the context of a theoretical job search model, we examine the decision to search for a job and the probability of transitioning to employment using a large sample of non-workers from the Health and Retirement Study. The effects of both supply-side factors (individual characteristics) and demand-side factors (local labor market conditions) are estimated. We find employment transition rates are relatively low for older searchers: only half of older searchers successfully attain jobs. We examine various explanations for this result, including variation in search intensity, reservation wages, and the possibility of intervening health shocks. We conclude that about 13 of older job searchers becomes a discouraged worker in the sense of being willing to work at the prevailing wage, but unable to find a job.

URLhttp://www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/papers
Endnote Keywords

Older Workers/Job Search Behavior

Endnote ID

17140

Citation Key5670