by Lauren Schmitz, The New School
By 2018, nearly a quarter of the civilian labor force will be over the age of 55. As our
workforce ages, health status will be a key determinant of labor force attachment. Stable and adequate health is essential if workers are to work longer to claim full Social Security benefits and accumulate sufficient savings. This dissertation will examine the relationship between work and health over the lifecycle to better understand how various working conditions impact health disparities as workers age. Research has shown that differences in health persist across occupations, but little is understood about why occupational health gradients exist and how such differences are generated over the lifecycle.