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Part-time work and health among older workers in Ireland and Britain

Brenda Gannon and Jennifer Roberts

Applied Economics, 2011, vol. 43, issue 30, 4749-4757

Abstract: Part-Time (PT) work is viewed as a viable option for people who wish to have a gradual transition to retirement. From a policy viewpoint, this may help to alleviate some labour supply shortages and fiscal pressures, especially in the context of the ageing population. Factors such as health or pension provision may influence a person's decision to work PT. This article considers the impact of health on the work decision of people aged 50 and over in the UK and Ireland. Methodological issues are discussed and the impact of unobserved individual effects is estimated using the Mundlak (1978) estimator applied to the multinomial probit model. We find that health problems increase the probability of retirement for this age group in both countries. In Britain, those with health problems are less likely to work full time and more likely to work PT, however in Ireland, health problems appear to have no effect on the probability of PT work. This article discusses the potential reasons for these impacts and current policies on PT work.

Date: 2011
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DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2010.498354

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