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The Effect of Physical and Cognitive Decline at Older Ages on Work and Retirement: Evidence from Occupational Job Demands and Job Mismatch
WP 2017-372
Péter Hudomiet, Michael D. Hurd, Susann Rohwedder, and Robert J. Willis

  • In this work, we assess possible mismatch between skills and job demands for older workers. We use longitudinal data on personal skills from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) linked to the O*NET database on occupational job demands.
  • We found that decreases in physical strength lead to mismatch in jobs, particularly for those in physically demanding jobs. Depressive symptoms also increase, while expected and actual work past age 65 decrease. There are similar effects for decline in fine-motor skills, but these are not concentrated among workers needing such skills on the job.
  • Decline in cognitive skills has similar effects on all workers. These effects tend to be smaller than those for physical decline. Our results suggest workers in cognitive jobs may rely on general knowledge and experience that is more resistant to aging.
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