Part-time Labor Markets for Older Workers

TitlePart-time Labor Markets for Older Workers
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsChen, J
Date Published2004
UniversityCornell University
KeywordsEmployment and Labor Force, Retirement Planning and Satisfaction

This dissertation examines the part-time job markets for older workers, particularly for individuals who utilize part-time jobs as a bridge between their career jobs and full retirement. The retirement decision of older workers is an important policy issue provoking significant public attention. Before the 1978 Amendments to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), many workers either chose to retire or were forced to retire at age 65. Today, mandatory retirement is prohibited in the United States, and older employees have the option to stay in the labor force as long as they wish. Perhaps because of this fact, an increasing number of American older workers choose to work part-time, and use part-time jobs as a transition to their full retirement. Interestingly, however, part-time work often involves moving to a new employer instead of remaining with an original full-time employer. This dissertation tries to examine why this happens. This dissertation begins by examining patterns of transition among older workers from career jobs to full retirement, and then compares the individual and firm characteristics of older workers who take different paths toward retirement. Five waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) from 1992 to 2000 are employed. The HRS data shows that part-time inside and part-time outside older workers are different in many ways: gender, race, pension characteristics, firm size, industry, and occupation. These results demonstrate that working inside part-time and outside part-time are different phenomena. This dissertation also studies the wage differences between part-time inside and part-time outside workers. Various wage equations for part-time inside and part-time outside jobs are estimated. Furthermore, using polychotomous choice models, this dissertation employs several selectivity correction techniques to address the endogenous choice and selection bias problems. Observed wages and potential wage offers are compared in order to explain older workers' part-time job choices.

Endnote Keywords

Labor Market

Endnote ID


Short TitlePart-time Labor Markets for Older Workers
Citation Key6254