There are two conflicting trends in Europe: a demographic shift towards population ageing, and a massive decrease in the labour force participation of older workers (aged 50 years and over). This captivating book offers a refined and authoritative understanding of these trends and the two socio-economic concerns of most European welfare states that have been re-enforced as a consequence. These are: the increasing costs for welfare states to finance 'pathways' from employment to official retirement, and the threat of labour market shortages in the near future as a result of both the ageing process and the early exit of older workers. A variety of new policy initiatives can be observed emerging from these changes in many European countries - this book examines the different welfare state arrangements in nine EU countries plus Hungary, Slovenia and Norway. It considers ways of integrating older workers in the labour market along with differing perspectives on the relation between ageing and work.
’The editors and contributors are to be commended for producing a book which, in addition to providing a wealth of detailed information on twelve different countries, also manages, unlike so many supposedly comparative works, to draw out important comparisons and Europe-wide trends. The result is an important contribution on a centrally-important economic and social policy issue for Europe in the coming decades.’ Rob Sykes, Sheffield Hallam University, UK ’Across Europe governments are attempting to respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by ageing populations and workforces, while striving to reverse declining employment rates among older workers. This accessibly written compilation provides an invaluable guide to current debates and initiatives in a range of European countries. Offering new, comparative insights into one of the most pressing contemporary policy dilemmas, it should be of interest to anyone concerned about the future contours of people’s working lives and citizenship rights.’ Dr Margaret May, London Metropolitan University, UK ’...this book certainly addresses a topic of immediate interest for welfare state researchers and policy makers alike.’ Social Policy ’The national case studies offer a comprehensive and interesting analysis of the broad range of policy issues surrounding the early exit path in very different political and socioeconomic contexts.’ Transfer ’...this fascinating collection of papers on transitions to retirement in 12 European Union countries...[provides] many important perspectives on current European approaches to retirement transitions...’ Ageing and Society ’...[a] welcome addition to the literature covering issues of interest to older people and the professionals and carers who work with them...a well-written and researched edited collection...offer[s] important insights into a difficult and constantly shifting arena...makes[s] important contributions to the study of older people