A gender perspective on retirement patterns in Europe: The role of work-related characteristics in explaining cross-country differences in retirement decisions

University essay from Lunds universitet/Ekonomisk-historiska institutionen

Abstract: This study addresses the question whether – and to what extent – work-related characteristics can explain the differences in retirement rates across thirteen European countries. To answer the research question from a gender perspective, a logistic regression and Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition analysis is conducted for the female and male population in each of the selected countries based on data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). The results show that, within the scope of this study, work-related factors are associated with the probability to retire. However, the major part of the disparity in retirement rates of the states is driven by the residual effect, which is referred to institutional differences between countries. This leads to the overall conclusion that work quality might be a crucial element for the retirement decisions of individuals but it cannot explain retirement variations across borders. Distinguishing the results between the sexes shows that the magnitude of the differences between countries is to a large extent influenced by the differences among women, which show more heterogeneous results for all factors than men when comparing the thirteen European countries. This indicates the need for further research in order to understand the underlying mechanisms that drive the retirement decision-making of women in Europe.

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