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Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs Understanding the Aging Workforce: Defining a Research Agenda Susan T. Fiske and Tara Becker, Editors Committee on Understanding the Aging Workforce and Employment at Older Ages Committee on Population Committee on National Statistics Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education A Consensus Study Report of
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 This activity was supported by contracts between the National Academy of Sciences and The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (G-2019-12542), with additional support from the National Academy of Sciences W.K. Kellogg Foundation Fund. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-XXXXX-X International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-XXXXX-X Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/26173 Additional copies of this publication are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2022 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Understanding the Aging Workforce: Defining a Research Agenda. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/26173.
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COMMITTEE ON UNDERSTANDING THE AGING WORKFORCE AND EMPLOYMENT AT OLDER AGES SUSAN T. FISKE (Chair), Princeton University EMMA AGUILA, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California PETER B. BERG, School of Human Resources and Labor Relations, Michigan State University AXEL BÃRSCH-SUPAN, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging; Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe; Max-Planck-Institute for Social Law and Social Policy COURTNEY C. COILE, Wellesley College ERNEST GONZALES, Silver School of Social Work, New York University JACQUELYN B. JAMES, Sloan Research Network on Aging & Work, Lynch School of Education, Boston College PHYLLIS E. MOEN, University of Minnesota DAVID NEUMARK, Center for Population, Inequality, and Policy; University of California, Irvine MO WANG, Warrington College of Business, University of Florida TARA BECKER, Study Director MARY GHITELMAN, Senior Program Assistant MALAY K. MAJMUNDAR, Director, Committee on Population v Prepublication copy, uncorrected proofs
COMMITTEE ON POPULATION ANNE R. PEBLEY (Chair), Department of Community Health Sciences, Department of Sociology, California Center for Population Research, Bixby Center on Population and Reproductive Health, University of California, Los Angeles EMILY M. AGREE, Department of Sociology and Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins University DEBORAH BALK, Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, and CUNY Institute for Demographic Research, Baruch College of the City University of New York ANN K. BLANC, Social and Behavioral Science Research, Population Council, New York, NY, retired COURTNEY C. COILE, Department of Economics, Wellesley College SONALDE DESAI, Department of Sociology, University of Maryland, Professor and Centre Director, NCAER-National Data Innovation Centre, New Dehli DANA A. GLEI, Research Consultant, Georgetown University ROBERT A. HUMMER, Department of Sociology, and Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill HEDWIG (HEDY) LEE, Department of Sociology, Washington University in St. Louis TREVON LOGAN, Department of Economics, The Ohio State University JENNIFER J. MANLY, Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimerâs Disease and the Aging Brain, Department of Neurology, Columbia University JENNA E. NOBLES, Department of Sociology and the Center for Demography and Ecology, University of WisconsinâMadison FERNANDO RIOSMENA, Department of Geography, Institute of Behavioral Sciences & Geography, University of Colorado Boulder DAVID T. TAKEUCHI, School of Social Work, Department of Sociology, and the Center for the Study of Demography and Ecology, University of Washington MALAY K. MAJMUNDAR, Director vi Prepublication copy, uncorrected proofs
COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL STATISTICS ROBERT M. GROVES (Chair), Office of the Provost, Georgetown University LAWRENCE D. BOBO, Department of Sociology, Harvard University ANNE C. CASE, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, Emeritus MICK P. COUPER, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan JANET M. CURRIE, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University DIANA FARRELL, JPMorgan Chase Institute, Washington, DC ROBERT GOERGE, Chapin Hall at The University of Chicago ERICA L. GROSHEN, The ILR School, Cornell University HILARY HOYNES, Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley DANIEL KIFER, The Pennsylvania State University SHARON LOHR, School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, Arizona State University, Emeritus JEROME P. REITER, Duke University JUDITH A. SELTZER, University of California, Los Angeles, Emeritus C. MATTHEW SNIPP, School of the Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University ELIZABETH A. STUART, Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health JEANNETTE WING, Data Science Institute, Columbia University BRIAN A. HARRIS-KOJETIN, Director MELISSA C. CHIU, Deputy Director CONSTANCE F. CITRO, Senior Scholar vii Prepublication copy, uncorrected proofs
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Preface The U.S. population is aging, and in the decade preceding the COVID-19 pandemic an increasing number of retirement-age adults were remaining in the labor force. The extended working lives of these older adults has the potential to improve their overall health and financial stability, as well as alleviate the economic impact of an older population on public programs, such as Social Security and Medicare. In addition to these economic impacts, their continued presence in the labor force could affect workplace cultures and employer beliefs about the benefits (and drawbacks) of hiring older adults. However, these effects are shaped by disparities in opportunities to work, which expand at older ages, leaving some older adults unable to benefit from labor market changes that enable participation beyond traditional retirement ages. To better understand the impact of these changes, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation began its Working Longer research program, which sponsored a range of studies on a broad array of topics associated with the social, economic, and policy implications of an aging workforce. Over the course of a decade, the Working Longer program expanded our knowledge about the extended working lives of older adults. As this program wound down, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation requested that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine undertake a study to evaluate the current status of research on work at older ages, identify key areas for future research, and suggest methodological and data infrastructure needs to move this new research agenda forward. In response to this request, the National Academies appointed the Committee on Understanding the Aging Workforce and Employment at Older Ages (under the standing committees of the Committee on Population and the Committee on National Statistics) to carry out this task. Ten scholars representing a broad array of disciplinesâhealth economics, labor relations, labor economics, organizational psychology, social psychology, sociology, demography, and social workâwere included on the committee, which met six times over a ten- month period. The committee first met in April 2020, during the national economic shutdown imposed by the federal government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the pandemic, this committee became one of the first at the National Academies to shift to an all-remote consensus study model, which introduced new challenges and opportunities for the committeeâs work. In many ways, these paralleled the pandemic-based challenges and changes that continue to reverberate and shift the structure and nature of work throughout the labor forceâincluding older workersâas this report goes into publication. The full scope of these changes and their effects on work at older ages remain open questions for future researchers to address. This report presents an extensive review of a wide-ranging topic and provides a deeper understanding not only of the effects of individual characteristics on work at older ages but also of the effects of current contexts, as well as the ways in which these effects shape and are shaped by the historical workplace, social, economic, and policy contexts in which people live their lives. The first part of this report describes the evolving older workforce and the committeeâs conceptual model for understanding transitions between work and retirement at older ages. In the second part of the report, the committee reviews the literature covering the effects of individual- level characteristics and workplace, age discrimination, labor market, and social policy contexts ix Prepublication copy, uncorrected proofs
on the extended work lives of older adults. Finally, in the third part of the report, the committee summarizes its findings and presents a new research agenda that, if acted upon, will substantially improve our understanding of work at older ages. This study would not have been possible without the contributions of many people. Special thanks must be extended to members of the study committee, who devoted extensive time, thought, and energy to this endeavor. The committee received useful information and insights from presentations from outside experts at open sessions of committee meetings. We thank Katharine Abraham (University of Maryland), Michele Battisti (University of Glasgow), Tyson Brown (Duke University), Joseph Coughlin (MIT), Sara Czaja (Cornell University), Gwen Fisher (Colorado State University), Eric French (University College London), Mary Gatta (City University of New York), Kendra Jason (University of North Carolina, Charlotte), Laurie McCann (AARP), Kathleen McGarry (University of California, Los Angeles), Olivia Mitchell (University of Pennsylvania), Michael North (New York University), Ursula Staudinger (Columbia University). A number of staff members of the National Academies made significant contributions to the report. Mary Ghitelman made sure that committee meetings ran smoothly, and she and Rebecca Krone assisted in preparing the manuscript, and otherwise provided key administrative and logistical support; Kirsten Sampson Snyder managed the report review process; and Malay Majmundar, director of the Committee on Population, and Brian Harris-Kojetin, director of the Committee on National Statistics, provided valuable guidance and oversight. We also thank Marc DeFrancis for his editing of the report. This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Cynthia M. Beall, Department of Anthropology, Case Western Reserve University; Margaret E. Beier, Department of Psychological Sciences, Rice University; Laura L. Carstensen, Department of Psychology, Stanford University; KÃ¨ne Henkins, Work & Retirement, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute, Ageing, Retirement and the Lifecourse, University Medical Center Groningen, and Sociology of Retirement, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Amsterdam; Richard Johnson, Program on Retirement Policy, Urban Institute; Eden King, Department of Psychology, George Mason University; Joanna N. Lahey, Public Service and Administration, Texas A & M University; Nancy Morrow-Howell, Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging, Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St Louis; and Kathleen Mullen, Center for Disability Research, RAND Corporation. Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Mark D. Hayward, Population Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin and Jonathan S. Skinner, Department of Economics, Dartmouth College. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. x Prepublication copy, uncorrected proofs
Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies. Susan T. Fiske, Chair Tara Becker, Study Director Committee on Understanding the Aging Workforce and Employment at Older Ages xi Prepublication copy, uncorrected proofs
Table of Contents Summary 1 Introduction Population Context Committee Formation and Statement of Task Situating Individual-Level Characteristics within Contexts Boundaries on the Scope of the Report Understanding Work at Older Ages Organization of the Report PART 1 2 The Emerging Older Workforce How Trends in Labor Force Participation Are Gendered Employment Characteristics of Older Workers Work Preferences of Older Workers The Changing Composition of the Older Workforce Diversity in Labor Force Participation Patterns The Initial Effects of COVID-19 on Labor Force Participation and Employment Trends in Health and Disability Conclusion Annex 3 Work and Retirement Pathways A Conceptual Framework of Work and Retirement Pathways Theoretical Mechanisms The Proximal Forces that Shape the Work and Retirement Pathways Disparities and Heterogeneity in Work and Retirement Pathways Challenges and Future Research Directions Conclusion PART 2 4 Individual and Social Factors that Influence Employment and Retirement Transitions Individual Level Resources Meaning of Work, Satisfaction with Work, and Sense of Purpose Family and Household Structure Social Capital Cross-Cutting Themes of Inequity: A Life Course Perspective Research Implications 5 Workplace and Job Factors Theoretical Approaches Key Practices Key Factors of Influence Implications for Future Research xii Prepublication copy, uncorrected proofs
Conclusion 6 Age Discrimination, One Source of Inequality Introduction Distinct Features of Ageism Face-to-Face Ageism: How People View Older Workers Assessing the Accuracy of Ageist Stereotypes: Cognitive Capability in Later Life Workplace Age Discrimination and Exclusion: Older Workersâ Reported Experience Age and Job Performance Age Discrimination in the Labor Market for Older Workers Conclusions 7 The Labor Market for Older Workers The Labor Supply of Older Workers Factors Primarily Affecting the Demand for Older Workers The Balance between Labor Supply and Labor Demand Summary 8 Public Policy Introduction Non-Age-Specific Policies that Support Work Age-Specific Policies that Support Work Policies to Support the Financial Security of Disabled and Retired Workers Conclusion PART 3 9 A Research Agenda to Promote Understanding of Employment among Older Worker Defining a Research Agenda Conclusion References Appendixes A â Meeting Agendas B â Biographical Sketches of Committee Members and Staff xiii Prepublication copy, uncorrected proofs
Lists of Boxes, Figures, and Tables Boxes 2-1 Measuring Employment and Self-Employment among Older Workers 4-1 COVID-19 5-1 The Effects of COVID-19 on Workplace Practices and Older Workers 6-1 Theories of Ageismâs Origins, with Implications for Interventions 8-1 International Social Security (ISS) 8-2 The COVID-19 Crisis and Public Policy 9-1 The COVID-19 Pandemic and Work at Older Ages Figures 2-1 The age distribution of employed adults in the U.S. by gender, 2000-2020 2-2 The age distribution of the U.S. population by gender, actual (2000-2020) and projected (2020-2060) 2-3 Labor force participation rates (and change in rates) by gender and age group, selected years, 2000-2019 2-4 2019 Labor force participation, adults ages 65 and over by country and gender 2-5 Gender difference in labor force participation rates in 2019 by country 2-6 Labor force participation by age, gender, and birth cohort, ages 25-79 2-7 Self-employment in current main job, by age and gender, 2004 and 2019 2-8 Percent of employed adults ages 50 and over working part-time, by age and gender, 2004 and 2019 2-9 Demographic characteristics of the older labor force, ages 50 and over, 2004 vs. 2019 2-10 Labor force participation among adults ages 25 and over by gender and nativity, 2004-2019 2-11 Labor force participation among adults ages 25 and over by age, gender, and race-ethnicity, 2004-2019 2-12 Labor force participation among adults ages 25 and over by age, gender, and educational attainment, 2004 and 2019 2-13 Labor force participation and employment status among adults by gender and age, January 2020-January 2021 2-14 Labor force participation and employment status among men ages 25 and over by race- ethnicity and age, January 2020-January 2021 2-15 Labor force participation and employment status among women ages 25 and over by race- ethnicity and age, January 2020-January 2021 2-16 Percent of U.S. adults reporting their health as fair or poor, by gender and age, 2000-2020 2-17 Percentage of U.S. adults reporting their health as fair or poor, 2019, and change in percentage, 2000 vs. 2019, by gender, age, and education 2-18 Percent of labor force reporting their health as fair or poor, by gender, age, and education, 2000 vs. 2019 2-19 Presence (percent) of a work disability among labor force participants ages 25 and over, 2000-2020, and change in percent, 2000 vs. 2020 3-1 Labor force status among men in the private sector, by year, 1992-2016 xiv Prepublication copy, uncorrected proofs
3-2 Labor force status among women in the private sector, by year, 1992-2016 3-3 A conceptual framework of work and retirement pathways 3-4 Theory of Planned Behavior 6-1 Change and predicted change in implicit and explicit attitudes, 2007-2020 7-1 Factors affecting labor demand for and labor supply of older workers 7-2 Mobility rates by age, CPS ASEC (2019) Tables 2-1 Distribution of Workers across Occupation Groups by Age Group, 2004 vs. 2019 2-2 Occupation Groups with the Highest Percentages of Oldest and Youngest Workers by Gender and Age Group, 2004 vs 2019 Annex Table 2-1 Age Distribution Within Occupation Group Among Men, 2004 Annex Table 2-2 Age Distribution Within Occupation Group Among Men, 2019 Annex Table 2-3 Age Distribution Within Occupation Group Among Women, 2004 Annex Table 2-4 Age Distribution Within Occupation Group Among Women, 2019 3-1 Theoretical Approaches 4-1 Average Social Security Wealth at Age 51-56 by Quintile of Wealth Within Race/Ethnicity, 2016 Dollars 4-2 Income and Wealth Changes by Income Level 4-3 Changes in Median Income by Race and Ethnic Origin and Income Percentile, 1970 to 2016 4-4 Indicators of Possible Financial Insecurity in Old Age 5-1 Theoretical Approaches 5-2 Age-Related Flexibility Practices Shaping Later Adult Work 6-1 Theories Applied to Ageism in the Workforce 6-2 Mixed Stereotypes about Older Adults and Older Workers 6-3 Stereotypes about Older Workersâ Health 6-4 Workplace Age Discrimination Scale (WADS) 6-5 Age and Job Performance Factors 7-1 Percent Retired within Age Group, 2012-2017 8-1 Public Policies Relevant to Older Workers xv Prepublication copy, uncorrected proofs
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