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Trends in Labor Force Participation of Older Workers in Spain

Pilar García-Gómez, Sergi Jiménez-Martín, Judit Vall Castelló

Chapter in NBER book Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Working Longer (2019), Courtney C. Coile, Kevin Milligan, and David A. Wise, editors (p. 205 - 230)
Published in December 2019 by University of Chicago Press
© 2019 by the National Bureau of Economic Research
in NBER Book Series - International Social Security

Similar to other OECD countries, labor force participation rates of Spanish older workers were falling until the mid-1990s when there was a reversal in the trend. Labor force participation rates of Spanish men have been increasing since then, although at a slower pace than in other OECD countries. We explore to what extent several factors can be behind these trends. First, we conclude that the (old-age) social security system (except perhaps for the disability component) has played a marginal (at most) role on this reversal given the lack of major changes in social security benefits until the last set of reforms in 2011 and 2013. Second, we also rule out that changes in the health status of the population are responsible for the reversal of this trend. Finally, we find that aggregate economic conditions, and differences across cohorts in both the skill composition and the labor force attachment of wives are potential drivers of these observed changes.

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This chapter first appeared as NBER working paper w24637, Trends in Labor Force Participation of Older Workers in Spain, Pilar García-Gómez, Sergi Jimenez-Martin, Judit Vall Castelló
 
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