Considering the impact of U.S. social policy retirement benefits on later life labor force participation

TitleConsidering the impact of U.S. social policy retirement benefits on later life labor force participation
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsKail, BL
AdvisorQuadagno, J
DegreePh.D.
Number of Pages156
UniversityThe Florida State University
Thesis TypeDissertation
KeywordsDemographics, Employment and Labor Force, Event History/Life Cycle, Methodology, Public Policy, Retirement Planning and Satisfaction
Abstract

As a life stage, retirement emerged out of the industrial revolution and the passage of the Social Security Act of 1935. Since the 1960s, however, several macrostructural changes have resulted in a much more varied landscape of later life labor force behavior. The research presented here extends the work of previous scholars on non-traditional paths to full labor force exit. Using data from the first eight waves of the Health and Retirement Study, the current research focuses on the role of retirement benefits from welfare policy and tax subsidized private retirement plans on transitions between labor force statuses in later life, using multinomial logistic regression in an Hierarchical Linear Modeling framework. Drawing on the hidden welfare state- and life course - perspectives yields several important findings. First, this study finds that welfare benefits allow individuals to reduce their work participation and fully exit the labor force, as well as to reduce the risk that they subsequently reverse their retirement. Because these benefits are nearly universal, they help decouple virtually all age eligible participants from work. Second, private benefits also help individuals to reduce their work, exit the labor force, and remain retired. However, because these benefits are limited to a select population they convey additional advantages to those beneficiaries. Third, the aforementioned macrostructural changes occur at different points within individuals' life courses and the results presented here suggest that this produces different patterns of labor force transitions across birth cohorts. Finally, using piecewise linear growth models, this study finds that, in addition to the actual welfare benefits individuals receive, becoming age eligible for public benefits also impacts later life labor force transitions. However, this influence is most noticeable among those who transition out of full time work, suggesting that public benefits are designed around a now parachronistic model of the life course.

Notes

ISBN 9781124709239

Endnote Keywords

life Course

Endnote ID

69340

Short TitleConsidering the impact of U.S. social policy retirement benefits on later life labor force participation
Citation Key6368