Do People Work Longer When They Live Longer?

Research Report

Do People Work Longer When They Live Longer?


Although theory suggests that people who live longer work longer, life expectancy and labor force participation at older ages have not always moved in the same direction. This paper uses a spatial approach based on census-tract-level data from the U.S. Small-Area Life Expectancy Estimates Project and the American Community Survey to estimate the effect of life expectancy on the labor force participation rate of adults ages 55 to 74. Our estimates show that a one-year increase in men’s life expectancy raises their labor force participation rate by 1 to 2 percent. The effect on female labor supply is smaller.

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