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Chair for Human Resource Management and Organisation

DFG Research Project Old Age Employment

DFG Research Project (German Research Foundation)

Determinants of Old Age Employment

Project Description

The main aims of this project are to assess and explain the incidence and characteristics of old age employment.

In the first project part we use two large scale administrative panel data sets to describe (1) characteristics of the last employment spell before retirement, (2) transition patterns into retirement, retirement age and (3) employment after retirement based on the characteristics of the employees, their employment histories and employers as well as the economic environment. In addition, the correlation between the three aspects of the employment of older employees is analysed.

In the next project part, determinants of old age employment are first derived theoretically and then assessed empirically. With a focus on economic decisions, again employer and employee characteristics as well as the economic environment are included in the assessment.

The last project part assesses again on the basis of theoretical hypotheses and using (a third) linked employer-employee data set whether human resource management measures have an influence on the characteristics of employment at old age.

The project is financed by the German Research Foundation (DFG) (GZ: ZW 172/3-1, research period: 2015-2018). It is part of the new DFG priority programme “The German Labour Market in a Globalised World – Challenges through Trade, Technology, and Demographics” (SPP 1764). Further information about the priority programme can be found here: www.zew.de/dfg1764.


Prof. Dr. Thomas Zwick (Principal investigator)

Dr. Mona Pfister


Lorenz, S., Pfister, M., & Zwick, T. (2018). Identification of the statutory retirement dates in the Sample of Integrated Labour Market Biographies (SIAB), FDZ Methodenreport 08/2018, Nürnberg.

Pfister, M., Lorenz, S., & Zwick, T. (2018). Implementation of Pension Entitlements in the Sample of Integrated Labour Market Biographies (SIAB), FDZ Methodenreport 01/2018, Nürnberg.

Geyer, J., Haan, P., Lorenz, S., Pfister, M., Zwick, T. (2019). The Role of Labor Demand in the Labor Market Effects of a Pension Reform, DIW Discussion Papers 1827, Berlin.

Lorenz, S., Pfister, M., Zwick, T. (2020). Beware of the Employer: Financial Incentives for Employees May Fail to Prolong Old-Age Employment ZEW Discussion Paper 20-007, Mannheim.

Lorenz, S., Zwick, T. (2020). Money also is sunny in a Retiree´s World, ZEW Discussion Paper 20-056, Mannheim.