Working Conditions and Retirement Preferences: The role of health and subjective age as mediating variables in the association of bad jobs with early retirement

Nadia Steiber*, Barbara Haas

*Korrespondierende*r Autor*in für diese Arbeit

Publikation: Beitrag in Buch/KonferenzbandBeitrag in Sammelwerk


This chapter presents a theoretical model that links working conditions with men’s and women’s retirement preferences via their physical and psychological health and their subjective age and longevity expectations. Our hypothesis is that subjective age is a central variable in retirement decisions that mediates the relationship between working conditions and individuals’ preferred retirement timing. We validate our theoretical model using data from a sample of older workers from the Austrian PUMA Survey that was conducted in 2016. Based on findings from multivariate regression analyses, we conclude that improved working conditions – directly and via improved health and feelings of youthfulness – can help delaying the timing of labour market exit. Improvements in working conditions would help to extend working life, because workers who enjoy ‘good working conditions’ tend to feel healthier and younger and would be willing to work until a higher age. Job attributes that help workers to maintain a sense of youthfulness and encourage them to stay part of the active work force until a higher age include high intrinsic job quality (e.g. learning and development opportunities at work, task variety) and employee-led time flexibility. Older workers in ‘bad jobs’ that involve physical work strain and time pressure tend to feel older and to prefer an earlier retirement.
Titel des SammelwerksOlder Workers and Labour Market Exclusion Processes
Untertitel des SammelwerksA Life Course Perspective
Herausgeber*innenNathalie Burnay, Jim Ogg, Clary Krekula, Patricia Vendramin
ISBN (elektronisch)978-3-031-11272-0
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-11274-4, 978-3-031-11271-3
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2022


ReiheLife Course Research and Social Policies