Women’s Late Careers in Europe and the USA—Employment Chances and Transitions Between Care-Giving and Retirement

Research question/goal: 

The project analyses employment chances, labour market sequences and transitions between work, family care, and retirement of women in the late career stage (i.e. aged between 50 and 70) in  international comparison. During the last decades, a sharp increase in employment rates of older women can be observed in almost all industrialised societies. However, research on women’s careers mainly concentrates on the reconciliation of work and family in mid-life, while detailed analyses on the late careers of women and respective gender differences are scarce. The project addresses this research gap and examines the interplay of individual, couple/family, workplace, and institutional factors in women’s late careers in Europe and the USA. The fundamental research questions are what factors shape the employment behaviour of women in their late careers and how these factors produce inequality in employment chances and labour market transitions. The project will use international and national panel data and will combine sequence analysis of employment trajectories, event history analysis of specific career transitions, and multilevel analysis to examine micro-macro linkages.

Current stage: 

We almost completed the longitudinal analyses of couples’ careers and their old-age income and wealth based on survey life history data and administrative records. The research results were presented at several conferences; one journal article is in press, others in preparation. Furthermore, we established a collaboration with the Finnish Population Research Institute Väestöliitto to conduct a comparative analysis of couples’ careers in Germany and Finland.

Fact sheet

Funding: 
MZES and Research Network on Pensions (FNA)
Duration: 
2016 to 2021
Status: 
ongoing
Data Sources: 
International and national panel and life history data
Geographic Space: 
Europe, USA

Publications