Early Retirement Processes Among Older Men: Occupational Differences

Mark D. Hayward, Melissa A. Hardy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


This study examines the influence of the occupational work context on early retirement, focusing specifically on the ways in which the nature of work in the occupation constrains early retirement processes. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Mature Men and the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, a model of early retirement is specified in which retirement is a function of health, pension coverage, union membership, the wage rate, compulsory retirement regulations, tenure, and certain background factors. This model is estimated within occupational job families where a job family is a cluster of occupations grouped according to major task dimensions of the occupational work context. The findings indicate that the effects of certain traditional determinants of early retirement vary substantially across occupational work contexts, demonstrating that the labor force opportunities of older men are defined within an occupational context, and that the impact of individual and job characteristics relevant to the early retirement decision are shaped by the nature of work. The implications of these findings for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-515
Number of pages25
JournalResearch on Aging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1985

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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