A matter of transition? Working life trajectories and retirement behavior in post-socialist contexts across Central and Eastern Europe

Field: Labor Market Sociology, Demography, Public Health
Project leader: Caroline Hasselgren
Starting year: 2023
Project type: Project
Total funding: SEK 5,979,000

The project asks what role major societal transition play on older individuals’ working lives. European countries are undergoing significant shifts in population age-structure and governments are continuously working to solve the impacts of these changes on social welfare and labor markets. The focus in research has predominately been on Western countries, leaving Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC) behind. This is alarming since the CEEC, alongside population aging, are still faced with challenges related to the extensive societal and economic changes that followed the fall of the Soviet Union and accession to the European Union. Yet, work life trajectories and retirement behavior in the region are nearly unexplored. The project strives to fill this gap by investigating pathways to retirement in and across 11 CEEC. It applies a life course lens in which diversity of regimes are accounted for and, consequently, individuals’ opportunities to act within different contexts. Using longitudinal and cross-sectional data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, three principal questions are addressed: How do individual-, household- and meso-level factors interact and influence work trajectories and retirement behavior in the CEEC? To what extent can differences between countries be observed, and how do they relate to national variations in, e.g., welfare state provisions, pension reforms, and labor market policies?