In this paper, we compare the patterns of labor force withdrawal of older workers in seven OECD countries. We find wide variation in retirement patterns and recent trends. In Sweden and the United States, for example, it is relatively common for workers to combine retirement benefits and earnings (i.e., to continue working while "retired"), while in Australia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and (West) Germany, this is much less common. These countries have also had very different experiences in arresting the postwar trend toward earlier retirement. After significant declines prior to 1985, the labor force participation rates of older men in Australia, West Germany and the United States have been almost unchanged, while the pre-1985 trends have continued unabated in Sweden and Canada. The challenge to researchers is to correlate the diverse public policies in these countries with the very different labor market experiences observed.
labor force withdrawal, retirement patterns, cross-country studies
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