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Labor-Force Participation, Policies & Practices in an Aging America: Adaptation Essential for a Healthy & Resilient Population

Labor-Force Participation, Policies & Practices in an Aging America: Adaptation Essential for a... Population aging in the United States poses challenges to societal institutions while simultaneously creating opportunities to build a more resilient, successful, and cohesive society. Work organization and labor-force participation are central to both the opportunities and challenges posed by our aging society. We argue that expectations about old age have not sufficiently adapted to the reality of aging today. Our institutions need more adaptation in order to successfully face the consequences of demographic change. Although this adaptation needs to focus especially on work patterns among the “younger elderly,” our society has to change its general attitudes toward work organization and labor-force participation, which will have implications for education and health care. We also show that work's beneficial effects on well-being in older ages are often neglected, while the idea that older workers displace younger workers is a misconception emerging fromthe “lump-of-labor” fallacy. We conclude, therefore, that working at older ages can lead to better quality of life for older people and to a more productive and resilient society overall. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Daedalus MIT Press

Labor-Force Participation, Policies & Practices in an Aging America: Adaptation Essential for a Healthy & Resilient Population

Daedalus , Volume 144 (2): 14 – Apr 1, 2015

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Publisher
MIT Press
Copyright
Copyright © MIT Press
ISSN
0011-5266
eISSN
1548-6192
DOI
10.1162/DAED_a_00329
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Population aging in the United States poses challenges to societal institutions while simultaneously creating opportunities to build a more resilient, successful, and cohesive society. Work organization and labor-force participation are central to both the opportunities and challenges posed by our aging society. We argue that expectations about old age have not sufficiently adapted to the reality of aging today. Our institutions need more adaptation in order to successfully face the consequences of demographic change. Although this adaptation needs to focus especially on work patterns among the “younger elderly,” our society has to change its general attitudes toward work organization and labor-force participation, which will have implications for education and health care. We also show that work's beneficial effects on well-being in older ages are often neglected, while the idea that older workers displace younger workers is a misconception emerging fromthe “lump-of-labor” fallacy. We conclude, therefore, that working at older ages can lead to better quality of life for older people and to a more productive and resilient society overall.

Journal

DaedalusMIT Press

Published: Apr 1, 2015

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