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Pushed into Unemployment, Pulled into Retirement: Facing Old Age in Gothenburg, 1923-1943

Karlsson, Tobias LU (2015) In Göteborg Papers in Economic History
Abstract
Along with rapid growth and improved standards of living, the first decades of the twentieth century saw the introduction of new technology and new ways to organize production. There are contrasting views on what impact these developments, often summarized as the Second Industrial Revolution, had on the situation of old men in the labour market. Some contemporary observers and modern-day historians have described how old men were crowded out of the labour force and pushed into an ‘industrial scrap heap’. Other researchers have maintained a more optimistic view on the opportunities of old men and argued that labour force withdrawal often was made possible by rising real earnings and savings. Since most of the research in the field has been... (More)
Along with rapid growth and improved standards of living, the first decades of the twentieth century saw the introduction of new technology and new ways to organize production. There are contrasting views on what impact these developments, often summarized as the Second Industrial Revolution, had on the situation of old men in the labour market. Some contemporary observers and modern-day historians have described how old men were crowded out of the labour force and pushed into an ‘industrial scrap heap’. Other researchers have maintained a more optimistic view on the opportunities of old men and argued that labour force withdrawal often was made possible by rising real earnings and savings. Since most of the research in the field has been based on cross-sectional data, the debate has relied on anecdotes, indirect evidence and assumptions.This paper uses data from a longitudinal panel of men living in the city of Gothenburg during the period 1923-1943. In contrast to most previous studies, this one takes up actual transitions into retirement and how such transitions were associated with access to resources. The main result is that a lack of resources was associated with a higher risk of retirement. This association appears even clearer when the sample is restricted to workingclass men and to the latter half of the period of investigation, when unemployment was lower and pension benefits higher. Thus, it would appear that transitions into retirement were most frequent when push and pull mechanisms were combined. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Working Paper
publication status
published
subject
keywords
inter-war period, Sweden, retirement, ageing, labour markets
in
Göteborg Papers in Economic History
issue
19
pages
28 pages
publisher
Department of Economy and Society, Unit for Economic History, Gothenburg University
ISSN
1653-1000
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
eac3d951-9427-42d8-a2d5-4731ab4d7d89 (old id 7874468)
alternative location
https://gupea.ub.gu.se/handle/2077/38489?locale=sv
date added to LUP
2015-09-22 11:01:39
date last changed
2016-04-16 02:31:44
@misc{eac3d951-9427-42d8-a2d5-4731ab4d7d89,
  abstract     = {Along with rapid growth and improved standards of living, the first decades of the twentieth century saw the introduction of new technology and new ways to organize production. There are contrasting views on what impact these developments, often summarized as the Second Industrial Revolution, had on the situation of old men in the labour market. Some contemporary observers and modern-day historians have described how old men were crowded out of the labour force and pushed into an ‘industrial scrap heap’. Other researchers have maintained a more optimistic view on the opportunities of old men and argued that labour force withdrawal often was made possible by rising real earnings and savings. Since most of the research in the field has been based on cross-sectional data, the debate has relied on anecdotes, indirect evidence and assumptions.This paper uses data from a longitudinal panel of men living in the city of Gothenburg during the period 1923-1943. In contrast to most previous studies, this one takes up actual transitions into retirement and how such transitions were associated with access to resources. The main result is that a lack of resources was associated with a higher risk of retirement. This association appears even clearer when the sample is restricted to workingclass men and to the latter half of the period of investigation, when unemployment was lower and pension benefits higher. Thus, it would appear that transitions into retirement were most frequent when push and pull mechanisms were combined.},
  author       = {Karlsson, Tobias},
  issn         = {1653-1000},
  keyword      = {inter-war period,Sweden,retirement,ageing,labour markets},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Working Paper},
  number       = {19},
  pages        = {28},
  publisher    = {Department of Economy and Society, Unit for Economic History, Gothenburg University},
  series       = {Göteborg Papers in Economic History},
  title        = {Pushed into Unemployment, Pulled into Retirement: Facing Old Age in Gothenburg, 1923-1943},
  year         = {2015},
}