Working Conditions and Sustainable Work at Older Ages: An International Perspective

Published: 2016
Project ID: UM16-17


This project will compare U.S. and Eurozone working conditions associated with workers’ ability to remain employed, commonly referred to as work sustainability. Building on prior MRRC funded research, we use harmonized data on working conditions and subjective probabilities of work at older ages in the U.S. and Europe. Focusing specifically on work time arrangements, physical demands of work, and meeting tight deadlines for workers in mid to late career, we analyze how working conditions influence the subjective probability of being able to do the same type of work 10 years from now. We differentiate between the physical ability to remain in the same job and the mental ability to do the same. We also examine the link between (mental and physical) work sustainability and retirement prospects for U.S. workers. We hypothesize that physical difficulties will have direct impacts on retirement, while the pace of work will mediate mental difficulties effects on retirement.