Monday, Dec 9
Sharon Kardia: Genomics in the Health & Retirement Study
This paper seeks to augment the relatively scarce information available about the labor market and economic characteristics of Hispanic elderly. Specifically, we examine the factors associated with the late-aged labor force participation decisions of elderly Hispanic men and women, and how they are related to aggregate economic well-being. Our results indicate a high degree of labor force instability and involuntary joblessness among older Hispanics. For many Hispanic elders, retirement is not the voluntary termination of a career job, but instead results from prolonged or frequent periods of joblessness that eventuate in retirement. This process of labor force withdrawal was markedly different for men and women, and was influenced by age, education, job characteristics (e.g., firm size and industrial sector), and employment experience (e.g., experience of being laid off and pension coverage). Low rates of pension coverage and low savings for retirement among the Hispanic elderly imply a high degree of economic vulnerability, especially for the unmarried elderly and for those who do not receive assistance from other family members.