European Journal of Ageing

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 17–28 | Cite as

“I want to break free”. The role of working conditions on retirement expectations and decisions

  • Chiara Dal Bianco
  • Elisabetta Trevisan
  • Guglielmo Weber
Original Investigation


We investigate the role of working conditions on the desire to retire as soon as possible and on the probability of transition from employment to either full or partial retirement, using different measures of work quality. We find that low work quality strongly correlates with the desire to retire as soon as possible of “young-old” workers. This might be explained by the deterioration of employer-employee match with age due to reduced incentives for firms to invest in training and work practises that enhance workability of their senior workers. When we move from intentions to decisions, the role of work quality is less clear-cut and it mainly plays a role in the transitions from employment to full retirement.


Work quality Intended early retirement Retirement SHARE 



We are grateful to the Editors and two anonymous referees for helpful comments and suggestions. This paper uses data from SHARE wave 4 release 1.1.1, as of March 28th 2013 or SHARE wave 1 and 2 release 2.6.0, as of November 29th 2013 or SHARELIFE release 1, as of November 24th 2010. The SHARE data collection has been primarily funded by the European Commission through the 5th Framework Programme (project QLK6-CT-2001-00360 in the thematic programme Quality of Life), through the 6th Framework Programme (Projects SHARE-I3, RII-CT-2006-062193, COMPARE, CIT5- CT-2005-028857, and SHARELIFE, CIT4-CT-2006-028812) and through the 7th Framework Programme (SHARE-PREP, N° 211909, SHARE-LEAP, N° 227822 and SHARE M4, N° 261982). Additional funding from the US. National Institute on Aging (U01 AG09740-13S2, P01 AG005842, P01 AG08291, P30 AG12815, R21 AG025169, Y1-AG-4553-01, IAG BSR06-11 and OGHA 04-064) and the German Ministry of Education and Research as well as from various national sources is gratefully acknowledged (see for a full list of funding institutions).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chiara Dal Bianco
    • 1
  • Elisabetta Trevisan
    • 2
    • 3
  • Guglielmo Weber
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsCa’ Foscari University VeniceVeniceItaly
  2. 2.Department of Economics and ManagementUniversity of PaduaPaduaItaly
  3. 3.NetsparTilburgThe Netherlands

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