The dark side of work life extension: health, welfare and equity concerns

Author/s Chiara Ardito, Angelo d’Errico
Publishing Year 2018 Issue 2018/150
Language English Pages 19 P. 101-119 File size 178 KB
DOI 10.3280/SL2018-150006
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

European countries have experienced an outstanding increase in life expectancy during the last decades; however, this desirable and laudable societal achievement has challenged pension systems financial sustainability. National governments have almost unanimously responded to this demographic change by limiting access to retirement, mainly increasing statutory pension age. This article explores possible unintended effects of work life extension in the context of ageing population and provides some policy considerations. In particular, the authors focus on the following issues: work ability at older age, the potential negative health consequences of prolonging exposure to occupational hazards, welfare program substitution, shortage of informal caring, and, finally, the inequity innate in pension systems which disregard differences in life expectancy between socio economic groups.

Keywords: Ageing, retirement, health, work

  1. Aittomaki A., Lahelma E., Roos E., et al. (2005). Gender differences in the association of age with physical workload and functioning. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 62(2): 95-100.
  2. Aparicio-Fenoll A., Vidal-Fernandez M. (2014). Working Women and Fertility: the Role of Grandmothers’ Labor Force Participation. CESifo Economic Studies, 61(1): 123-147.
  3. Ardito C., Leombruni R., Mosca M., et al. (2017). Scar on my heart: effects of unemployment experiences on coronary heart disease. International Journal of Manpower, 38(1): 62-92.
  4. Ardito C. (2017). Rising pension age in Italy: employment response and program substitution. Department of Economics and Statistics “Cognetti de Martiis” Working Paper Series, 2017: 22.
  5. Ardito C., Leombruni R., Blane D. et al. (2016). To work or not to work? The effect of higher pension age on cardiovascular health. Laboratorio Revelli Working Paper, 150.
  6. Del Boca D., Locatelli M., Vuri D. (2005). Child-care choices by working mothers: The case of Italy. Review of Economics of the Household, 3(4): 453-477.
  7. Arpaia A., Dybczak K., Pierini F. (2009). Assessing the short-term impact of pension reforms on older workers’ participation rates in the EU: a diff-in-diff approach, Economic Paper, 385. Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs, European Commission, Brussels.
  8. Arpino B., Pronzato C.D., Tavares L.P. (2014). The effect of grandparental support on mothers’ labour market participation: An instrumental variable approach. European Journal of Population, 30(4): 369-390.
  9. Atalay K., Barrett G.F. (2015). The impact of age pension eligibility age on retirement and program dependence: Evidence from an Australian experiment. Review of Economics and Statistics, 97(1): 71-87.
  10. Aversa M.L., D’Agostino L., Parente M. (2015). L’age management nelle grandi imprese italiane: i risultati di un’indagine qualitativa. ISFOL, 210, I Libri del Fondo Sociale Europeo. Roma.
  11. Behncke S. (2012). Does retirement trigger ill health? Health economics, 21(3): 282-300. Blane D., Kelly-Irving M., d’Errico A. et al. (2013). Social-biological transitions: how does the social become biological? Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, 4(2): 136-46.
  12. Bratti M., Frattini T., Scervini F. (2017). Grandparental availability for child care and maternal labor force participation: pension reform evidence from Italy. Journal of Population Economics.
  13. Brilli Y., Del Boca D., Pronzato C.D. (2016). Does child care availability play a role in maternal employment and children’s development? Evidence from Italy. Review of Economics of the Household, 14(1): 27-51.
  14. Burr H., Hasselhorn H.M., Kersten N. et al. (2017a). Does age modify the association between psychosocial factors at work and deterioration of selfrated health? Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health.
  15. Burr H., Pohrt A., Rugulies R. et al. (2017b). Does age modify the association between physical work demands and deterioration of self-rated general health? Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, 43(3): 241-249.
  16. Charles K.K. (2004). Is retirement depressing? Labor force inactivity and psychological well-being in later life. Research in Labor Economics, 23: 269-299.
  17. Checcucci P., Fefè R., Scarpetti G. (2017). Eta e invecchiamento della forza lavoro nelle piccole e medie imprese italiane. INAPP, Istituto Nazionale per l’Analisi delle Politiche Pubbliche, Roma.
  18. Coda Moscarola F., Fornero E., Strøm S. (2016). Absenteeism, childcare and the effectiveness of pension reforms. IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, 5(1): 1.
  19. Coe N.B., Zamarro G. (2011). Retirement effects on health in Europe. Journal of health economics, 30(1): 77-86.
  20. Compton J., Pollak R.A. (2014). Family proximity, childcare, and women’s labor force attachment. Journal of Urban Economics, 79: 72-90.
  21. Costa G., Zengarini N., Demaria M. et al. (2013). R. Lavoro e aspettativa di vita. Rivista delle Politiche Sociali, n. 1-2.
  22. d’Errico A. (2017). Invecchiamento della popolazione lavorativa, pensionamento e salute. In: Libro d’argento. Aging E-Book. Invecchiamento e lavoro. CIIP, Consulta Interassociativa Italiana per la Prevenzione.
  23. d’Errico A., Ardito C., Leombruni R. (2016). Work organization, exposure to workplace hazards and sickness presenteeism in the European employed population. American journal of industrial medicine, 59(1): 57-72.
  24. Dave D., Rashad I., Spasojevic J. (2008). The Effects of Retirement on Physical and Mental Health Outcomes. Southern Economic Journal, 75(2): 497.
  25. Eibich P. (2015). Understanding the effect of retirement on health:Mechanisms and heterogeneity. Journal of Health Economics, 43: 1-12.
  26. Eichhorst W., Gerard M., Kendzia M. et al. (2011). Pension systems in the EU – contingent liabilities and assets in the public and private sector, European Union, Bruxelles. This document is available on the Internet at: -- (Last access: 19 October 2017). Eurofound (2012). Fifth European Working Conditions Survey, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.
  27. Eurostat (2017). Inactive population not seeking employment by sex, age and main reason [lfsa_igar]. Last update: 14-09-2017.
  28. Fletcher J.M., Sindelar J.L., Yamaguchi S. (2011). Cumulative effects of job characteristics on health. Health economics, 20(5): 553-570.
  29. Franco D. (2002). Italy: A never-ending pension reform. In: Feldstein M., Siebert H., eds., Social security pension reform in Europe (pp. 211-262). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  30. Gamperiene M., Nygård J.F., Sandanger I. et al. (2008). Self-reported work ability of Norwegian women in relation to physical and mental health, and to the work environment. Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, 3(1): 8.
  31. Geyer J., Welteke C. (2017). Closing Routes to Retirement: How Do People Respond? IZA Discussion Paper Series. IZA DP No. 10681.
  32. Goedhard R.G., Goedhard W.J. (2005, June). Work ability and perceived work stress. International Congress Series, vol. 1280, Elsevier: 79-83.
  33. Gruber J., Wise D.A., eds. (2007). Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Fiscal Implications of Reform. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  34. Hank K., Buber I. (2009). Grandparents caring for their grandchildren: Findings from the 2004 Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe. Journal of Family Issues, 30(1): 53-73.
  35. Hernaes E., Markussen S., Piggott J. et al. (2013). Does retirement age impact mortality? Journal of health economics, 32(3): 586-598.
  36. Horner E.M., Cullen M.R. (2016). The impact of retirement on health: quasiexperimental methods using administrative data. BMC health services research, 16(1): 68.
  37. Ilmarinen J., Tuomi K., Klockars M. (1997). Changes in the work ability of active employees over an 11-year period. Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health: 49-57.
  38. INPS (2017). Complesso delle pensioni liquidate Anno 2016, online at: -- (Accessed on 5 May 2017).
  39. ISTAT (2016). Disposizioni in materia di assistenza in favore delle persone affette da disabilita grave prive del sostegno familiare. Audizione del Presidente dell’Istituto nazionale di statistica Giorgio Alleva. 11a Commissione “Lavoro, previdenza sociale”.
  40. Istituto degli innocenti (2015). Monitoraggio del Piano di sviluppo dei servizi socio-educativi per la prima infanzia. Rapporto al 31 dicembre 2014. Firenze, Italia.
  41. Järnefelt N. (2017). “Is retirement unequal? A contribution presented at the Changing Labour Markets, Life-Course and Pensions Conference”, Helsinki, 19 May 2017.
  42. Johnston D.W., Lee W.S. (2009). Retiring to the good life? The short-term effects of retirement on health. Economics Letters, 103(1): 8-11. Kalousova L., Mendes de Leon C. (2015). Increase in frailty of older workers and retirees predicted by negative psychosocial working conditions on the job. Social Science & Medicine, 124: 275-283.
  43. Karasek R.A., Theorell T. (1990). Healthy Work: Stress, Productivity and the Reconstruction of Working Life. New York: Basic Books.
  44. Kim J.E., Moen P. (2002). Retirement transitions, gender, and psychological wellbeing: A life-course, ecological model. The Journals of Gerontology Series B:Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 57(3): P212-P222.
  45. Leombruni R., Villosio C. (2006). Employability of older workers in Italy and Europe. In: Herremans W., Heuvel N., Ehrel C., eds., Active Ageing: Early Retirement and Employabilty. Belgium: Steunpunt WAV – Resource Centre for Labour Market Research.
  46. Li Ranzi T., d’Errico A., Costa G. (2013). Association between chronic morbidity and early retirement in Italy. International archives of occupational and environmental health, 86(3): 295-303.
  47. Maimaris W., Hogan H., Lock K. (2010). The impact of working beyond traditional retirement ages on mental health: implications for public health and welfare policy. Public Health Reviews, 32.2: 532-548.
  48. Mäki N., Martikainen P., Eikemo T. et al. (2013). Educational differences in disability-free life expectancy: a comparative study of long-standing activity limitation in eight European countries. Social science & medicine, 94: 1-8.
  49. Matthews K. (2014). Doctoral Thesis: Is working beyond the state pension age beneficial for health-evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Manchester: University of Manchester.
  50. Mazzonna F., Peracchi F. (2012). Ageing, cognitive abilities and retirement. European Economic Review, 56(4): 691-710.
  51. Mazzonna F., Peracchi F. (2017). Unhealthy Retirement? Journal of Human Resources, 52(1): 128-151.
  52. McGarry K. (2004). Health and retirement do changes in health affect retirement expectations? Journal of Human Resources, 39(3): 624-648.
  53. Micangeli A., Puglisi A., Vignola R. (2016). Report on the social inclusion and social protection of disabled people in European countries. Country: Italy. Technical Report. Academic Network of European Disability experts (ANED). Leeds, UK.
  54. Miranda H., Kaila-Kangas L., Heliövaara M., et al. (2010). Musculoskeletal pain at multiple sites and its effects on work ability in a general working population. Occupational and environmental medicine, 67(7): 449-455.
  55. Mojon-Azzi S., Sousa-Poza A., Widmer R. (2007). The effect of retirement on health: a panel analysis using data from the Swiss Household Panel. Swiss Medical Weekly, 137(41-42): 581-585.
  56. Moon J.R., Glymour M.M., Subramanian S.V. et al. (2012). Transition to retirement and risk of cardiovascular disease: Prospective analysis of the US health and retirement study. Social science & medicine, 75(3): 526-530.
  57. Morris J.N., Donkin A.J.M., Wonderling D., Wilkinson P., Dowler E.A. (2000). A minimum income for healthy living. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 54(12): 885-889.
  58. Morris J.N., Wilkinson P., Dangour A.D., Deeming C., Fletcher A. (2007). Defining a minimum income for healthy living (MIHL): older age, England. International Journal of Epidemiology, 36(6): 1300-1307.
  59. Myrskylä M., Leinonen T., Martikainen P. (2013). Life expectancy by labor force status and social class: Recent period and cohort trends and projections for Finland. Finnish Centre for Pensions, Working Papers 02/2013.
  60. Neuman K. (2008). Quit your job and get healthier? The effect of retirement on health. Journal of Labor Research, 29(2): 177-201.
  61. OECD (2015). Pensions at a Glance 2015: OECD and G20 indicators. Paris: OECD Publishing.
  62. Paul K.I., Moser K. (2009). Unemployment impairs mental health: Metaanalyses. Journal of Vocational behavior, 74(3): 264-282.
  63. Posadas J., Vidal-Fernández M. (2013). Grandparents’ childcare and female labor force participation. IZA Journal of Labor Policy, 2(1): 14.
  64. Rabaté S., Rochut J. (2017). Employment and Substitution Effects of Raising the Statutory Retirement Age in France. PSE Working Papers, n. 2017-46.
  65. Roelfs D.J., Shor E., Davidson K.W. et al. (2011). Losing life and livelihood: a systematic review and meta-analysis of unemployment and all-cause mortality. Social science & medicine, 72(6): 840-854.
  66. Schizzerotto A. (1993), Problemi concettuali e metodologici nell’analisi delle calssi sociali. In: Palumbo M., a cura di, Classi, disuguaglianze e poverta. Problemi di analisi, FrancoAngeli, Milano, pp. 47-75.
  67. Shim M.J., Gimeno D., Pruitt S.L. et al. (2013). A systematic review of retirement as a risk factor for mortality. In: Applied Demography and Public Health (pp. 277-309). Springer Netherlands.
  68. Siegrist J. (1996). Adverse health effects of high-effort/low-reward conditions. Journal of occupational health psychology, 1(1): 27.
  69. Staubli S., Zweimüller J. (2013). Does raising the early retirement age increase employment of older workers? Journal of public economics, 108: 17-32.
  70. Stenholm S., Westerlund H., Salo P., et al. (2014). Age-related trajectories of physical functioning in work and retirement: the role of sociodemographic factors, lifestyle and disease. J Epidemiol Community Health, 68(6): 503-9.
  71. Thomas E., Peat G., Croft P. (2014). Defining and mapping the person with osteoarthritis for population studies and public health. Rheumatology, 53(2): 338-345.
  72. Tobia L., Giammaria A., Pizzuti S. et al. (2005). Elderly workers in chemical, energetic, sanitary and public fields: Evaluation of work ability. International Congress Series, vol. 1280, Elsevier: 322-327.
  73. Tuomi K., Ilmarinen J., Martikainen R., et al. (1997). Aging, work, life-style and work ability among Finnish municipal workers in 1981-1992. Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health: 58-65.
  74. van der Heide I., van Rijn R.M., Robroek S.J. et al. (2013). Is retirement good for your health? A systematic review of longitudinal studies. BMC public health, 13(1): 1.
  75. Westerlund H., Kivimäki M., Singh-Manoux A. et al. (2009). Self-rated health before and after retirement in France (GAZEL): a cohort study. The Lancet, 374(9705): 1889-1896.

  • Early Retirement of Employees in Demanding Jobs: Evidence From a German Pension Reform Johannes Geyer, Svenja Lorenz, Thomas Zwick, Mona Bruns, in SSRN Electronic Journal /2021
    DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.3979796
  • Early retirement of employees in demanding jobs: Evidence from a German pension reform Thomas Zwick, Mona Bruns, Johannes Geyer, Svenja Lorenz, in The Journal of the Economics of Ageing 100387/2022 pp.100387
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeoa.2022.100387
  • Handbook of Bioethical Decisions. Volume I Allen Porter, pp.247 (ISBN:978-3-031-29450-1)
  • To Work or Not to Work? The Effect of Higher Pension Age on Cardiovascular Health Chiara Ardito, Roberto Leombruni, David Blane, Angelo d’Errico, in Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society /2020 pp.399
    DOI: 10.1111/irel.12257
  • Handbook of Socioeconomic Determinants of Occupational Health Hans Martin Hasselhorn, pp.105 (ISBN:978-3-030-31437-8)
  • Older Workers and Labour Market Exclusion Processes Chiara Ardito, Maria Fleischmann, pp.161 (ISBN:978-3-031-11271-3)
  • Working Conditions and Health Among Italian Ageing Workers Angelo d’Errico, Chiara Ardito, Roberto Leombruni, Fulvio Ricceri, Giuseppe Costa, Carlotta Sacerdote, Anna Odone, Andrea Amerio, Chiara Ardito, Greta Carioli, Giuseppe Costa, Angelo d’Errico, Dario Fontana, Beatrice Frascella, Giovanni Gaetti, Leandro Gentile, Vincenza Gianfredi, Roberto Leombruni, Anna Odone, Fulvio Ricceri, Carlotta Sacerdote, David Stuckler, Giacomo Pietro Vigezzi, Nicolas Zengarini, in Social Indicators Research /2022 pp.1043
    DOI: 10.1007/s11205-021-02862-w
  • Use of wearable sensors to assess patterns of trunk flexion in young and old workers in the Metalworking Industry Micaela Porta, Pier Francesco Orrù, Massimiliano Pau, in Ergonomics /2021 pp.1543
    DOI: 10.1080/00140139.2021.1948107
  • Handbook of Socioeconomic Determinants of Occupational Health Hans Martin Hasselhorn, pp.1 (ISBN:978-3-030-05031-3)
  • Early Retirement of Employees in Demanding Jobs: Evidence from a German Pension Reform Thomas Zwick, Svenja Lorenz, Johannes Geyer, Mona Bruns, in SSRN Electronic Journal /2021
    DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.3985350

Chiara Ardito, Angelo d’Errico, The dark side of work life extension: health, welfare and equity concerns in "SOCIOLOGIA DEL LAVORO " 150/2018, pp 101-119, DOI: 10.3280/SL2018-150006