The influence of unpaid work on the transition out of full-time paid work.

TitleThe influence of unpaid work on the transition out of full-time paid work.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsCarr, DC, Kail, BLennox
Date Published2013 Feb
ISSN Number1758-5341
KeywordsAge Factors, Aged, Employment, Female, Humans, Interviews as Topic, Logistic Models, Male, Middle Aged, Retirement, Salaries and Fringe Benefits, Volunteers, Work

PURPOSE: Continued employment after retirement and engagement in unpaid work are both important ways of diminishing the negative economic effects of the retirement of baby boomer cohorts on society. Little research, however, examines the relationship between paid and unpaid work at the transition from full-time work. Using a resource perspective framework this study examines how engagement in unpaid work prior to and at the transition from full-time work influences whether individuals partially or fully retire.

DESIGN AND METHODS: This study used a sample of 2,236 Americans between the ages 50 and 68, who were interviewed between 1998 and 2008. Logistic regression was used to estimate transitioning into partial retirement (relative to full retirement) after leaving full-time work.

RESULTS: We found that the odds of transitioning into part-time work were increased by continuous volunteering (78%) and reduced by starting parental (84%), grandchild (41%), and spousal (90%) caregiving and unaffected by all other patterns of engagement in unpaid work.

IMPLICATIONS: Our findings suggest that volunteering is complementary with a transition to part-time work, and starting a new caregiving role at this transitioncreates a barrier to continued employment. In order to provide workers the opportunity to engage in the work force longer at the brink of retirement, it may be necessary to increase the support mechanisms for those who experience new caregiving responsibilities.

User Guide Notes

Endnote Keywords

retirement Planning/Public policy/baby boomers/partial retirement/labor force participation/unpaid work

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalGerontologist
Citation Key7762
PubMed ID22859436
PubMed Central IDPMC3605938
Grant List2T32AG000139-21 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
5T32 AG000272-09 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States