De Economist

, Volume 162, Issue 4, pp 415–431 | Cite as

How Likely are Employers to Rehire Older Workers After Mandatory Retirement? A Vignette Study Among Managers

  • Jaap Oude Mulders
  • Hendrik P. van Dalen
  • Kène Henkens
  • Joop Schippers


With a vignette experiment among Dutch managers we examine employers’ considerations in the decision to rehire employees after mandatory retirement. We specifically focus on the effects of the employee’s downward wage flexibility (i.e., the willingness to accept a lower wage) and contract flexibility (i.e., preference for a contract which allows flexible hours or employment). The results show that employers are strongly affected by employees who offer to work for a significantly lower wage, but not by the employees’ preference for a particular labor contract. Employers are overall quite disinclined to rehire employees after mandatory retirement, although large differences exist between employees. Part of these differences can be explained by employers having higher retirement age norms (i.e., the maximum age at which employers consider employees suited for work in their organization).


Bridge employment Employers Mandatory retirement   Older workers 

JEL Classification

D22 J23 J26 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the helpful comments of an anonymous referee and the participants at the Feedback Forum of the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute. The LISS panel data were collected by CentERdata (Tilburg University, The Netherlands) through its MESS project funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaap Oude Mulders
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hendrik P. van Dalen
    • 1
    • 3
  • Kène Henkens
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  • Joop Schippers
    • 2
  1. 1.Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI-KNAW) / University of GroningenThe HagueNetherlands
  2. 2.Utrecht University School of EconomicsUtrecht UniversityUtrechtNetherlands
  3. 3.Tilburg School of Economics and Management (TISEM) and CentERTilburg UniversityTilburgNetherlands
  4. 4.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamNetherlands
  5. 5.University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)University of GroningenGroningenNetherlands

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