Advertisement

Economic Gerontology: Older People as Consumers and Workers

  • Jolanta Perek-Bialas
  • Joop J. Schippers
Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Aging book series (BRIEFSAGING)

Abstract

This chapter discusses older people’s roles in the economy. It considers them in their role as workers who sell their manpower in the labour market, and as consumers who purchase goods and services. In Europe, the situation of older workers is currently strongly debated, and several governments have implemented reforms trying to encourage people to work until a later age. Older Europeans’ consumption patterns differ markedly from the ones of younger individuals, e.g. in that older people spend less money. Finally, this chapter discusses how the economic crisis might affect older Europeans.

Keywords

Labour Market Labour Cost Pension Fund Pension System Young Worker 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Aleksandrowicz, P. (2011). Age and stereotypes. European Policy Brief, April 2011. Vechta: ‘Activating Senior Potential in Ageing Europe’ Project.Google Scholar
  2. Atkinson, B., & Marlier, E. (2010). Income and living conditions in Europe. Luxembourg: Publication Office of the European Union.Google Scholar
  3. Becker, G. S. (1962). Investment in human capital: A theoretical analysis. Journal of Political Economy, LXX, 9–49.Google Scholar
  4. Birren, J. E. (Ed.). (2007). Encyclopedia of gerontology (2nd ed.) (pp. 330–336). San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  5. Boxall, P., & Purcell, J. (2003). Strategy and human resource management. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  6. Cowgill, D. (1974). The aging of populations and societies. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science., 415(29), 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dannefer, D., & Phillipson, C. (Eds.). (2010). The SAGE handbook of social gerontology. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  8. De Grip, A., & Van Loo, J. (2002). The economics of skills obsolescence: a review. Research in Labor Economics, 21, 1–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dorn, D., & Sousa-Poza, A. (2010). ‘Voluntary’ and ‘involuntary’ early retirement: An international analysis. Applied Economics, 42(4), 427–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Estes, C. L., & Phillipson, C. (2007). Critical gerontology. In J. E. Birren (Ed.), Encyclopedia of gerontology (2nd ed., pp. 330–336). San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  11. Estes, C.L. (Ed.) (2001/2009) Social policy & ageing. A critical perspective. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  12. Eurostat (2009) Mean consumption expenditure by age of the reference person (in PPS). Excel file. http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=hbs_exp_t135&lang=en. Accessed 19 June 2012.
  13. Eurostat (2012a). Employment rate, by highest level of education attained. Excel file. http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/tgm/table.do?tab=table&init=1&language=en&pcode=tsdec430&plugin=0. Accessed 19 June 2012.
  14. Eurostat (2012b). Employment rate of older workers by sex. Excel file. http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/tgm/table.do?tab=table&init=1&language=en&pcode=tsiem020&plugin=0. Accessed 19 June 2012.
  15. Eurostat (2012c). Mean and median income by age and sex. Excel file. http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=ilc_di03&lang=en. Accessed 19 June 2012.
  16. Havighurst, R. J., Neugarten, B. L., & Tobin, S. S. (1968). Disengagement and patterns of aging. In B. Neugarten (Ed.), Middle age and aging: a reader in social psychology (pp. 161–172). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  17. Hershey, D. A., Henkens, K., & Van Dalen, H. P. (2010). What drives retirement income worries in Europe? A multilevel analysis. European Journal of Ageing, 7(4), 301–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jehoel-Gijsbers, G., & Vrooman, C. (2008). Social exclusion of the elderly: a comparative study of EU member states. CEPS, ENEPRI Research Report No. 57. Brussels: The Centre for European Policy Studies.Google Scholar
  19. Litwin, H., & Attias-Donfut, C. (2009). The inter-relationship between formal and informal care: a study in France and Israel. Ageing and Society, 29(1), 71–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Marshall, V. (1996). Sociology, psychology, and the social sciences. In R. Binstock & L. George (Eds.), Handbook of aging and the social sciences (pp. 12–20). San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  21. Mayhew, K., & Rijkers, B. (2004). How to improve the human capital of older workers, or the sad tale of the magic bullet. Report. http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/3/39/34932028.pdf. Accessed 20 June 2012.
  22. Parsons, D. O. (1972). Specific human capital: an application to quit rates and layoff rates. Journal of Political Economy, 80(6), 1120–1143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Perek-Bialas, J., & Turek, K. (2011). Organisation-level policy towards older workers in Poland. International Journal of Social Welfare, 21(S1), S101–S116.Google Scholar
  24. Polachek, S. W., & Siebert, W. S. (1993). The economics of earnings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Polivka, L., & Estes, C. L. (2009). The economic meltdown of old age politics. Generations, 33(3), 56–62.Google Scholar
  26. Quadagno, J. (2011). Aging and the life course. An introduction to social gerontology. Boston: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  27. Riley, M. W. (1971). Social gerontology and the age stratification of society. The Gerontologist, 11(1), 79–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Riley, M. W., & Riley, J. W. (2000). Age integration: Conceptual and historical background. The Gerontologist, 40(3), 266–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Schulz, J. H. (2001). The economics of aging. Westport: Auburn House.Google Scholar
  30. Schippers, J., Conen, W., & Henkens, K. (2011). Extending working lives in Europe: employers’ opinions and actions. In K. Busch, M. Flore, H. Kohl, & H. Schlatermund (Eds.), Socially imbalanced Europe—socio-political proposals in times of crisis (pp. 206–216). Pontypool: Merlin Press.Google Scholar
  31. Taylor, P. E., & Walker, A. (1994). The ageing workforce—employers’ attitudes towards older people. Work, Employment & Society, 8(4), 569–591.Google Scholar
  32. Taylor, P. E., & Walker, A. (1998). Employers and older workers: Attitudes and employment practices. Ageing and Society, 18(6), 641–658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Thijssen, J. G. L., & Van Der Heijden, B. I. J. M. (2003). Evaporated talent? Problems with talent development during the career. International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, 3(2), 154–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Thijssen, J., & Walter, E. (2006). Identifying obsolescence and related factors among elderly employees. Conference paper. http://www.ufhrd.co.uk/wordpress/?p=1185. Accessed 7 June 2012.
  35. Van Dalen, H., Henkens, K., & Schippers, J. (2009). Dealing with older workers in Europe: A comparative survey of employers’ attitudes and actions. Journal of European Social Policy, 19(1), 47–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Vrooman, J. C. (Ed.). (2008). The elderly poor in the EU’s new member states. CEPS-ENEPRI Research Report No. 60. Brussels: The Centre for European Policy Studies.Google Scholar
  37. Walker, A., & Maltby, T. (2012). Active ageing: a strategic policy solution to demographic ageing in the European Union. International Journal of Social Welfare, 21(S1), S117–S130.Google Scholar
  38. World Health Organization. (2012). Active ageing. A policy framework.. Madrid: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  39. Wise, D. A. (Ed.). (2009). Developments in the economics of aging. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  40. Wise, D. A. (Ed.). (2010). Research findings in the economics of aging. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  41. Zaidi, A. (2010). Poverty risks for older people in EU countries. Policy Brief No. 11. Vienna: Centre of Social Welfare Policy and Research.Google Scholar

Recommended Readings

  1. Bond, J., Peace, S., Dittmann-Kohli, F., & Westerhof, G. J. (Eds.). (2007). Ageing in society. European perspective on gerontology (3rd ed.). London: Sage. This volume discusses different topics concerning ageing from a European perspective. Google Scholar
  2. Taylor, P. (Ed.). (2008). Ageing labour forces: Promises and prospects. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. This book gives an overview of the discussions around ageing workers. Google Scholar
  3. Van Dalen, H. P., Henkens, K., & Schippers, J. J. (2010). How do employers cope with an ageing workforce? Views from employers and employees. Demographic Research, 22(32), 1015–1036. This article investigates how Dutch employers deal with the challenges of population ageing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics, Institute of SociologyJagiellonian UniversityCracowPoland
  2. 2.Faculty of Law, Economics and GovernanceUniversiteit UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations