Quality of Working Conditions, Sector of Employment and Age at Retirement

Tobias Wiß, Lisa Schmidthuber, Valeria Bordone

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


Prolonging employment and postponing retirement are seen as promising solutions to make labour markets and pension systems sustainable in ageing Europe with low employment rates of older people and widespread early retirement. The aim of the paper is to identify to what extent quality of working conditions and sector of employment affect the actual age at retirement. Based on SHARELIFE data on 13 European countries, we investigate the association between age at retirement on the one hand and 12 quality of working conditions attributes and six economic sectors on the other using linear regression models. Our results show that freedom to decide how to do the work is significantly associated with a higher age at retirement and adequate salary with a lower age at retirement among both men and women, while working in a comfortable environment, without emotional demands, and where employees experienced fair treatment is positively related to age at retirement only for men. Furthermore, our analysis provides evidence that quality of working conditions attributes are more important for age at retirement in the service, manufacturing and industry sectors than in the finance, trade, and primary sectors. A stronger focus on improving quality of working conditions is likely to promote a higher age at retirement among both men and women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145 - 166
Journalmanagement revue - Socio-economic Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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