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Aging Populations, Globalization and the Labor Market

Comparing Late Working Life and Retirement in Modern Societies Edited by Hans-Peter Blossfeld, Professor of Sociology, University of Bamberg, Sandra Buchholz, Professor of Sociology, Otto Friedrich University Bamberg and Karin Kurz, Göttingen University, Germany
This topical and timely analysis of late career and retirement within nine European societies and the USA examines how social inequality structures have developed in an era of globalization and aging populations.
Extent: 360 pp
Hardback Price: $159.00 Web: $143.10
Publication Date: 2011
ISBN: 978 1 84980 372 4
Availability: In Stock

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  • eISBN: 978 1 84980 585 8

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  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Ageing
  • Comparative Social Policy
  • Labour Policy
This topical and timely analysis of late career and retirement within nine European societies and the USA examines how social inequality structures have developed in an era of globalization and aging populations.

For several decades, many European societies relied on pushing and luring older workers out of employment by using generous early retirement programs in order to relieve national labor markets in times of globalization. However, as this book argues, one of the major challenges facing European and Northern American societies today is their severe demographic aging, which in turn places pension systems under substantial pressure due to the rising imbalance between those claiming pensions and those contributing to the pension system. Indeed, it is observed herein that in the recent past, governments have tried to increase the labor market attachment of older employees by retrenching early retirement benefits. This study investigates how these developments have impacted on the situation of older workers and retirees in nine European societies and the USA. In particular, the book looks at how social inequalities in later life have developed in the light of recent pension reforms.

This informative book will appeal to sociologists, demographers, political scientists and economists interested in many different aspects of research including: international comparative research, globalization, labor market, welfare state, social inequality and research on aging. Researchers in the field of retirement and globalization studies will also find this book helpful, as will academics in labor market research and comparative political studies.
‘This timely and important book describes changes over time in employment at older ages, the timing of retirement, and pension income and how these changes correspond with historical demographic, economic, and policy changes. What is especially valuable is that this book gives readers insight into how these dynamics are playing out around the world in countries such as Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.’
– Barbara Butrica, Journal of Pensions Economics and Finance

‘Welfare states react to globalization and adapt to aging populations by reducing early retirement pathways and public benefits. How have these changes affected the transition to and income situation during retirement? To investigate this crucial question, this eminent international team conducted sophisticated micro-level analyses of retirement patterns and old age inequality across Europe and the USA. For anyone wishing to understand the significant cross-national differences that determine employment precariousness and social inequality in old age, this book is a must-read.’
– Bernhard Ebbinghaus, University of Mannheim, Germany
Contributors: P. Barbieri, F. Bernardi, H.-P. Blossfeld, S. Buchholz, E. Bukodi, M. Gesthuizen, J. Hamil-Luker, K. Kurz, M. Larsen, A.M. O’Rand, J. Radl, A. Rinklake, E. Saar, S. Scherer, J. Schilling, P. Schmelzer, G. Sjögren Lindquist, K. Täht, M. Unt, A. Veira-Ramos, M.H.J. Wolbers


Martin Kohli

1. Aging Populations, Globalization and the Labor Market: Comparing Late Working Life and Retirement in Modern Societies
Sandra Buchholz, Annika Rinklake, Julia Schilling, Karin Kurz, Paul Schmelzer and Hans-Peter Blossfeld

2. Increasing Inequalities in Germany: Older People’s Employment Lives and Income Conditions Since the Mid-1980s
Annika Rinklake and Sandra Buchholz

3. Late Career Instability and the Transition into Retirement of Older Workers in the Netherlands
Maurice Gesthuizen and Maarten H.J. Wolbers

4. Retirement in Italy: Rising Social Inequalities Across Generations
Paolo Barbieri and Stefani Scherer

5. Pathways from Work to Retirement and Old Age Inequality in Spain
Jonas Radl and Fabrizio Bernardi

6. How ‘Flexicure’ are Older Danes? The Development of Social Inequality in Later Life Since the 1980s
Julia Schilling and Mona Larsen

7. Social Inequality in the Late Career and Old Age Income between 1981 and 2007: The Case of the Swedish Welfare State
Gabriella Sjögren Lindquist

8. Late Careers in Hungary: Coping with the Transformation from a Socialist to a Market Economy
Alberto Veira-Ramos and Erzsébet Bukodi

9. Increasing Social Inequality in Later Life Since the 1980s in Estonia
Kadri Täht, Ellu Saar and Marge Unt

10. Income Development of Older People: Consequences of Pension
Reforms and Unstable Careers in the UK
Paul Schmelzer

11. Late Employment Careers, Transitions to Retirement and Retirement Income in the United States
Angela M. O’Rand and Jenifer Hamil-Luker

12. Comparing Late Working Life and Retirement in Europe and the US: The Development of Social Inequalities in Times of Globalization
and Aging Societies
Karin Kurz, Sandra Buchholz, Alberto Veira-Ramos, Annika Rinklake and Hans-Peter Blossfeld