Occupational age structure and access for older workers

Barry T. Hirsch, David A. Macpherson, Melissa A. Hardy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


This paper examines covariates of the occupational age structure and the openness of jobs to older workers. Using a large number of data sets, which together span the years 1983-98, the authors focus on the structure of compensation, job skill requirements, and working hours and conditions as the principal determinants of occupational access. Older male and female workers, they find, face substantial entry barriers in occupations with steep wage profiles, pension benefits, and computer usage. In addition, union coverage is associated with limited access for older men, while older female hires are concentrated in occupations where flex-time, part-time work, and daytime shifts are common. Segregation across occupations among older new hires exceeds that for younger workers, but there is no evidence that it has worsened over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-418
Number of pages18
JournalIndustrial and Labor Relations Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'Occupational age structure and access for older workers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this