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Phasing out: routine tasks and retirement

Lucas van der Velde

No 23, GRAPE Working Papers from GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics

Abstract: Population ageing poses new challenges to the sustainability of the pension system and possibly to economic growth in advanced economies. In such context, calls are made to increase participation of workers close to their retirement age. Ageing occurs in a period where technological progress has changed the patterns of labor demand, away from physically demanding tasks (opportunity) and into more cognitive-interpersonal type of tasks (challenge). To understand the net effect, we analyze the relation between automation and labor supply of older workers. We explore whether exposure to technological change, measured by the task content of jobs, was connected to labor supply of older workers in Germany and Great Britain. Using panel data, we show that the adjustment in the number of hours of workers in occupations exposed to automation was small, and only negative for a subset of workers. The exposure to automation is related to somehow earlier retirement, but the size of the relation is small.

Keywords: task content; routinization; retirement; labor supply; automation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J24 J26 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age and nep-lma
Date: 2017
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