CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

Since the end of the 1960s, the EU15 member countries have implemented early retirement mechanisms for older workers. This trend increased over decades, to reverse from the mid-1990s on. Gradually, the states, particularly under the influence of supranational policies, have limited access with a greater or lesser success. This paper examines changes in employment statuses of those aged 45-69 for the period 2000-2010 in the member countries of the EU15. Three indicators of policy change are mobilized : dependence, convergence and rupture. Through a hierarchical clustering method, done separately for men and women, we show that changes in the decade have affected, marginally, more configurations of countries in the case of men than in women. For women, groups of countries were more stable, showing the embedded nature of initial policies. However, despite these “dependencies,” we find that, for both sexes, all countries converge to si­milar results. Leaning on these findings, we show that the convergence phenomenon can be partly explained by a proliferation of composite statuses on the labour market, corresponding to both de-standardization and re-institutionalization of career paths.


  • employment
  • cross?national analysis
  • ageing
  • Welfare State
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