Michigan State University

To fill a gap in research by investigating how the "employment environment" promotes or impedes the ability of individuals to remain at work past traditional ages of retirement

  • Amount $419,203
  • City East Lansing, MI
  • Investigator Peter Berg
  • Year 2011
  • Program Research
  • Sub-program Working Longer

Much of the empirical research on aging and work actually focuses on aging and "end of work"-retirement. Significantly less research has been conducted on how the non-financial, as well as financial, conditions of work affect the decision to stay in the labor force beyond conventional retirement. To address this, Michican State University professor Peter Berg and his colleagues Chris Ruhm and Mary Hamman intend to assess how the "employment environment," defined to include characteristics of the job, employer, and the industry, facilitates or impedes individuals' abilities to work past conventional retirement age. To conduct their analysis, Berg and his team will rely on a uniquely rich German dataset, which includes detailed questions regarding the employment environment and contains extensive data on such relevant factors as staffing patterns, scheduling, hours of work, modifications to jobs demands, financial information, and turnover. Funds from this grant will support this research. The results of this study will likely shed light on the kinds of variables that could in the future be included in U.S. survey instruments, such as the Health and Retirement Study and could be important in identifying what U.S. employers might consider doing in order to keep employees working past age 65.

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