Informations and abstract
In recent decades European workers quit the labour force at increasingly younger ages. By planning ad hoc welfare measures, or by altering the nature and aims of already-existing ones, national governments have made a variety of exit pathways available, thereby simplifying and accelerating the transition to retirement and redrawing the conventional boundaries of the life course. This article analyses the transition from work to retirement from a welfare regime perspective, looking at individual characteristics and institutional factors. The study concentrates on Italy, Germany, Denmark and the United Kingdom, countries with very different welfare regimes. Data from European Community Household Panel are analysed with a longitudinal perspective, firstly applying a discrete-time model to measure the effect exerted by some selected characteristics - i.e. labour market status, education level or health status - on the likelihood of being retired, then using sequence analysis to find the most common pathways of exit from the labour force in each country. Results of the analysis underline the role of national welfare regimes in shaping the decision to leave the labour market, acting on the relationship between work careers and pensions systems. Moreover doesn't appears that individualization of the transition from work to retirement have happened, but seems that the retirement behaviour continues to follow standardized pathways, even if this transition results more differentiated than in the past decades.