Non-Engagement in Productive Roles among Retirees in Europe: A Comparison between Different Types of Welfare States

Andreas Mergenthaler , Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB)

While studies show a variety of findings on older people's involvement in productive roles, evidence on non-engagement in retirement is scarce. Therefore, this study addresses the association between different types of European welfare states and non-engagement in retirement age. A sample of retirees from the “Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe” (SHARE) between 60 and 85 years of age at the time of wave six (2015) from 17 European countries was used (N=9,907). Non-engagement was measured by (non-)participation in several productive activities (e. g. paid employment, formal volunteering, political engagement, informal helping, caregiving as well as education and training). A gradient of non-engagement was observed with the social-democratic type displaying the lowest (26.4 %) and the post-communist type the highest prevalence (52.4 %). Multilevel logistic regressions showed that the risk of non-engagement increased with age (OR: 1.169, SE: 0.017). In post-communist and rudimentary/Mediterranean welfare states the age-related risks for non-engagement were more pronounced than in social-democratic or conservative welfare states. The positive association between welfare state models (reference: social-democratic) and non-engagement remained stable after controlling for functional health and formal education on the individual level. On the country level, the GINI-coefficient as an indicator of income inequality was positively associated (OR: 1.051, SE: 0.023) with non-engagement. The results point at the importance of types of welfare states for non-engagement in productive roles among retirees in Europe. Therefore, the welfare state context should receive more attention in the understanding of (non-)productive aging.

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 Presented in Session P3. Poster Session Migration, Economics, Environment, Methods, History and Policy