Mäcken, Jana (2020). Antecedents and consequences of retirement: The role of health, work-related stress, and education. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.


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Europe’s workforce is aging rapidly, especially in Germany. This demographic change requires policies that seek to extend working lives, for example, by increasing the statutory pension age and closing early retirement pathways. The aim of these reforms is to increase the labor participation of older workers to secure the long-term sustainability of the social security systems. However, in most European countries, the average effective retirement age is still below the statutory age. This highlights the importance of understanding the antecedents and consequences of retirement. On the individual-level, I analyzed if work-related stress had a direct effect on retirement age or if health is mediating this relationship, and additionally, if retirement is associated with memory decline and if this relationship varies among countries. On the meso-level, I investigated if the expected and preferred retirement age differ between the healthcare sector and other sectors. On the macro-level, the focus was on country differences in the association between education and voluntary or involuntary labor market exit and if these differences are associated with institutional characteristics of the countries. Results on the individual level showed that work-related stress and individuals’ health status are antecedents of retirement pushing older workers out of work. Looking at the consequences, memory decline became faster afterwards over all countries, but there was significant between-country heterogeneity in this effect. On the meso-level, employees within the healthcare sector would prefer to retire earlier than employees in other sectors but do not think this is feasible because of pension cuts when exiting early. Moreover, results show that in almost all European countries lower educated workers were more likely to exit the labor market involuntarily. The social gradient in involuntary work exit is associated with push and maintain factors on the institutional level.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
Translated title:
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Mäcken, Janamaecken@wiso.uni-koeln.deUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-114370
Date: 2020
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Management, Economy and Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Sociology and Social Psychology > Department of Economic and Social Psychology
Subjects: Social sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords:
work-related stressUNSPECIFIED
memory declineUNSPECIFIED
Date of oral exam: 13 May 2020
NameAcademic Title
Ellwardt, LeaProf. Dr.
Hank, KarstenProf. Dr.
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/11437


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