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Robin Pleau's article "Gender Differences in Post-Retirement Employment" forthcoming in Research on Aging, May 2010

This paper examines gender differences in post-retirement employment, using 1992-2006 data from the Health and Retirement Study on Americans born between 1931 and 1941. Gender is shown to be an important factor in understanding transitions into post-retirement employment for this cohort.

First, men were significantly more likely to experience post-retirement employment than women. Forty-seven percent of retirees (n=3590) experienced post-retirement employment, with 43 percent of retired women making the transition, compared to 50 percent of retired men. Second, marital status, earnings and household wealth were significant only when gender interaction terms were introduced, due to countervailing effects. For retired women, being married and having high household wealth were negatively associated with labor force reentry, and higher earnings were positively associated with labor force reentry; for retired men, marital status, wealth and earnings had the opposite effect. Finally, hazard models show that divorced and separated women have a greater likelihood of labor force reentry than married women and that this difference increases with time out of the labor force, suggesting push factors that derive from economic vulnerability.