Old workers’ transition to retirement in Italy: from an individual to a couple perspective

Francesca Rinesi, Università di Roma "La Sapienza"

The well-known process of population aging forces the European Union to settle new economic strategies. Among these, active aging has a prominent role. As Italy is one of the European countries with the highest old dependency ratio and the lowest labour participation of older workers, the study of the older workers labour market becomes fundamental. The aims of this work are two: the first is to estimate, using event history models, the impact of socio-demographic and economic variables on the retirement decision of those who were employed at age 50; the second is to focus on the interaction between the partners retirement behaviour. The core hypothesis is that the labour participation decisions are not only individual but also the outcome of a couple’s decision. The 2004 “Survey on Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe” (SHARE) data are used. The first model we have introduced stresses the significant difference in the relative risk to experiment the transition to retirement according to relevant socio-economic and demographic covariates such as age, gender, kind of work and educational level. Whereas the results from the models that take into account explicitly the partner labour behaviour make possible to highlight two major points: the first is that retirement decision is partly the outcome of individual characteristics and partly the consequence of the partner labour behaviour. The second is that the dependence between spouse retirement behaviour doesn’t seem completely symmetric. Wives with a retired husband have a significantly higher risk to exit from the labour market. This is not true vice versa: only husbands whose wife is retired since one-two years have a (weakly) significant higher risk to retire than those with a working wives. These findings suggest that in Italy the Killingsworth’s male-chauvinist model seems to prevail, at least for the cohort understudy.

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Presented in Poster Session 3