Live Longer, Work Longer? Evidence from Sweden’s Ageing Population

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)


Sweden’s elderly population is growing, propelled by a continuous decline in old-age
mortality, while coupled with a persistent replacement level fertility. This
changing age structure increases the per worker cost of providing a given age-vector
of per capita benefits, encompassing costs for pensions, health care, and all
other type of old-age welfare services, which presents a looming challenge for the
welfare state to sustain its social transfer system. Options for tackling this daunting
challenge, such as increasing fertility and immigration levels, cutting benefits and
growing public debts, present numerous obstacles, thus discussion of policy options
has shifted the focus towards extending working life. This book contributes
to this ongoing policy discussion by exploring the recent trends in labor supply,
and investigating the underlying mechanisms driving these trends. The results of
this work illustrate a recent trend of prolonging working life in Sweden, whereby
average labor income has increased at older ages, and younger cohorts have increasingly
postponed their retirement. While these changes are uniform across
individuals of different sexes, occupations, and educational levels, the underlying
mechanisms appear different. These micro mechanisms may have myriad implications
concerning aggregate economic support for the ageing Swedish population.
In this regard, the findings in this book are relevant inputs for assessing the welfare
consequences of population ageing and deriving evidence-based policy options.


  • Haodong Qi
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economic History


  • Employment, Retirement Behavior, Working Life, Labor Supply, Pension Reform, Financial Incentives, Population Ageing
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
Award date2016 Mar 4
  • Department of Economic History, Lund University
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 2016-03-04 Time: 14:00 Place: EC3:207, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Sweden External reviewer(s) Name: Pedersen, Peder Title: Professor Affiliation: Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University ---

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