Work-Life Balance and Labor Force Attachment at Older Ages

Published: 2017
Project ID: UM17-11


The Executive Office of the President, Council of Economic Advisers, has recently stated that “too few studies on the mechanisms through which workers’ job satisfaction and firm profits are affected hinder a deeper understanding of the benefits and costs of workplace flexibility policies and practices.” The need for this line of research is even more apparent in the context of an aging population, as work-life balance (WLB) likely plays a key role for retirement, and workplace flexibility may help increase labor-force attachment at older ages. In this study, we aim to fill this gap by estimating the causal effect of WLB on the labor-supply decisions of older workers. We will also investigate the interaction between WLB and changing life circumstances, focusing on how a spouse’s health affects the likelihood of withdrawing from the labor force and how this effect varies with the degree of WLB.