Publication details

The effects of prolonged working life on subjective quality of life across Europe



Year of publication 2019
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Social Science Research
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Keywords Prolonged working careers; Quality of life; Active ageing; Ecological perspective; European regions
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Description This paper examines the effect of prolonged working careers on subjective quality of life (QoL) in four European regions. The paper tests a basic assumption of the role accumulation theory and the active ageing approach that additional roles, including prolonged working careers, are beneficial for the quality of life of older people. The propensity score matching method was used on data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) for four European regions with distinctive economic, institutional, and cultural contexts connected to paid work. The context-sensitive effects of prolonged labour force participation on QoL as a whole, control, and pleasure are positive in regions in which financial need serves as a more important motivation to work than nonmaterial need. In contrast, the effects on QoL as a whole and autonomy are negative in wealthier and more developed European regions. The paper concludes that the main motivation for prolonged working careers seems to be to avoid deteriorating living standards; satisfactory retirement conditions should thus be an aim complementary to incentives for those who are willing and able to work longer.
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