Working time reductions at the end of the career: Do they prolong the time spent in employment?

  • Andrea AlbaneseEmail author
  • Bart Cockx
  • Yannick Thuy


In this paper, we study the effects on the survival rate in the employment of a scheme that facilitates gradual retirement through working time reductions. We use information on the entire labour market career and other observables to control for the selection and take dynamic treatment assignment into account. We also estimate a competing risks model considering different (possibly selective) pathways to early retirement. We find that participation in the scheme prolongs employment during the first 2 (4) years for men (women). However, when individuals become eligible for early retirement, the effect reverses. This suggests that TC initially improves the work–life balance, but that it eventually decreases labour market attachment and signals to employers a preference for early retirement. The institutional environment in which part-time participants are entitled to full-time pensions reinforces the latter process. Participation in TC seems also to generate a slight, statistically insignificant, improvement in health.


Part-time work Older workers Inverse probability weighting Dynamic selection into treatment Endogenous sampling 

JEL Classification

J14 C22 J18 J22 



We acknowledge financial support for this research project from the programme Society and Future of the Belgian Science Policy (contract no. TA/00/044) and from the special Research Fund of Ghent University for providing a scholarship to Andrea Albanese (code 01SF3612).

Supplementary material

181_2019_1676_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (616 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 616 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Labour Market DepartmentLuxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER)Esch-sur-AlzetteLuxembourg
  2. 2.Federal Planning BureauBrusselsBelgium
  3. 3.Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Business AdministrationGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  4. 4.IZABonnGermany
  5. 5.GLOMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  6. 6.IRESUniversité Catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium
  7. 7.CESIfoMunichGermany

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