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Research Group

Labor Demography

Detailed description

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A key concern of population aging is the shrinking and graying of the workforce. Encouraging people to work longer, and thus to increase the length of working life, is often proposed as a potential solution to the challenges arising from population aging. Accordingly, policies aimed at increasing the duration of working life have been implemented in many countries in recent years. Despite the major research and policy focus on retirement ages, very little is known about the full length of working life, which determinants shape it, and which key societal and individual life-course factors are affected by increases or decreases in labor-force participation.

The MPIDR’s interdisciplinary Research Group Labor Demography analyzes how demographic change, the labor market, and economic factors interact in shaping the workforce of today and of the future. We study how demographic development affects the size and composition of the workforce from a demographic perspective, informed by sociological and economic theory and using demographic and statistical methods.

We assess how labor-force participation across the life course is interrelated with the dynamics of health and well-being. This involves determining both the factors that contribute to and the outcomes of crucial labor market transitions, such as retirement or entering the labor market, as well as aspects of inequality that govern how well individuals are off. A particular focus is on vulnerable population sub-groups and intersections of risk factors that shed light on major inequalities in the labor market.

We apply demographic concepts and methods to study the labor market. We use working life expectancy as a key indicator of working life trajectories, and assess its trends and determinants from a comparative perspective. Studying how specific phases of the life course contribute to the duration of working trajectories; how they interact in cumulative (dis)advantage; and how other processes and domains, such as health and well-being, contribute will provide novel insights into working life.

Our data sets mostly come from, but are not restricted to, developed countries, and include cross-sectional and longitudinal surveys, as well as register data. Methodological innovation, in particular in the measurement of labor-force participation dynamics, is a key characteristic of the research conducted in the Labor Demography research group.

 

Selected Publications

FINNIGAN, R.; HALE, J. M.:
Working 9 to 5? Unionization and work variability, 2004-2013
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2017-002. (2017).

DUDEL, C.; LÓPEZ GÓMEZ, M. A.; BENAVIDES, F.; MYRSKYLÄ, M.:
A lost generation? The financial crisis and the length of working life in Spain
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2016-010. (2016).

DUDEL, C.; MYRSKYLÄ, M.:
Recent trends in US working life expectancy at age 50 by gender, education, and race/ethnicity and the impact of the Great Recession
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2016-006. (2016).

PALJÄRVI, T.; MARTIKAINEN, P.; PENSOLA, T.; LEINONEN, T.; HERTTUA, K.; MÄKELÄ, P.:
Life course trajectories of labour market participation among young adults who experienced severe alcohol-related health outcomes: a retrospective cohort study, PLoS One 10:5, e0126215-e0126215 (2015).

LEINONEN, T.; MARTIKAINEN, P.; MYRSKYLÄ, M.:
Working life and retirement expectancies at age 50 by social class: period and cohort trends and projections for Finland, Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences (2015).

 

Contact

Head
Phone +49 (0)381 2081-118
Deputy Head
Phone +49 (0)381 2081-221
Secretary
Phone +49 (0)381 2081-190

 

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