Exploring emerging inequalities among older workers

 

Working longer is the fundamental response to the challenges posed to European welfare states by population ageing. The CEPS-led FACTAGE project explores where and how the extension of working lives could inadvertently foster the emergence of socio-economic inequalities. The project’s first conference was held at CEPS on April 26th, and attracted both international academics as well as members of EU institutions dealing with the subject.

The main topics of discussion at the first conference centred on inequalities in health and mortality and in working conditions and skills use of older workers. The first topic is important because it relates to differences in life expectancy and good health late in life; and hence it has important implications for the design of equitable pension systems. A key question is whether socio-economic differences are changing. A presentation by CEPS Researcher Lars Ludolph suggested that inequalities in health among older people are substantial, but they have not increased over the last decade.

It is vital that the topics of skills use and working conditions of older workers are addressed in order to enable the extension of working lives and thereby to sustain European welfare states.

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