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Investigating Work, Age, Health and Work Participation in the Ageing Work Force in Germany

(in German)

Working life in Germany is changing. The work force is ageing and the number of people available to the labour market will - from now on - shrink considerably. Prospectively, people will have to work longer; but still today, most people leave employment long before reaching official retirement age. What are the reasons for this? In this report, a conceptual framework and the German lidA Cohort Study are presented. The "lidA conceptual framework on work, age, health and work participation" visualises determinants of employment (11 "domains") in higher working age, e. g., "work", "health", "social status" and "life style". The framework reveals 4 key characteristics of withdrawal from work: leaving working life is the result of an interplay of different domains (complexity); (early) retirement is a process with in part early determinants in the life course (processual character); retirement has a strong individual component (individuality); retirement is embedded in a strong structural frame (structure). On the basis of this framework, the "lidA Cohort Study on work, age, health and work participation" investigates long-term effects of work on health and work participation in the ageing work force in Germany. It is the only large study in Germany operationalising the concept of employability in a broad interdisciplinary approach. Employees subject to social security and born in 1959 or in 1965 will be interviewed (CAPI) every 3 years (N[wave 1]=6 585, N[wave 2]=4 244) and their data will be linked (where consented) with social security data covering employment history and with health insurance data. The study design ("Schaie's most efficient design") allows for a tri-factor model that isolates the impact of age, cohort and time. In 2014, the second wave was completed. In the coming years lidA will analyse the association of work, health and work participation, and identify age as well as generation differences. lidA will investigate the complexity of work participation and assess the benefit of broader conceptual and methodological research approaches in the field.

The complete article can be purchased in German at the website of the "Das Gesundheitswesen", 77(4), pp. e51-e56: "Investigating Work, Age, Health and Work Participation in the Ageing Work Force in Germany" (charges may apply).

Bibliographic information

M. Ebener, H. M. Hasselhorn:
Untersuchung von Arbeit, Gesundheit und Erwerbsteilhabe in Zeiten älter werdender Belegschaften in Deutschland. 
in: Das Gesundheitswesen, 77(4) 2015. pages e51-e56, DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1387744

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