Job Search Behavior at the End of the Life Cycle

WP#2002-10

Abstract

This paper presents one of the first formal dynamic models of job search by older individuals. It also presents an empirical analysis of job search behavior among this population using the Health and Retirement Study. Several factors currently compound to make the topic of this research an important one in the agenda of the Economics of Aging: ongoing demographic, epidemiological, socio-economic, technological, and labor market trends indicate that older Americans are more likely to be labor force participants beyond traditional retirement ages. Increasing longevity, improving health, strong labor market conditions, increasing labor supply flexibility stemming from an increase in part-time work and self-employment and the use of technological advances to promote second careers, and increasing labor force participation, make the study of search behavior at the end of the life cycle, in a formal theoretical and empirical model, an important contribution. Our findings show that older Americans actively search for new jobs, both on the job and when out of work, and that previous work attachment and health limitations are key to understanding the different job search behavior of employed and non-employed individuals, as well as males and females.