COUNTRY REPORT: Ireland

Abstract

This paper presents a discussion of the gender and health impacts of extended working life policies in Ireland. It gives an overview of gendered working patterns in Ireland, focusing particularly on older workers and giving an outline of some of the historical policies that affected women earlier in their working lives, adopting a lifecourse approach in order to account for gender pension and unemployment inequalities. This is followed by an overview of the pension system in Ireland and of gendered patterns and level of coverage. This is followed by a discussion of the policies that have been introduced to extend working life and related pension reforms including health related employment measures and family friendly policies and the gendered division of care labour. There is a brief synopsis of the media debate in Ireland on extended working life policies and pension reforms particularly those related to gender. There is a discussion of the policy and academic literature in gender and extended working life including that on health and precarious employment.

COUNTRY REPORT: Switzerland

Authors: Nicky Le Feuvre,
Series: Issue: 03 2019

Abstract

The DAISIE project explores the gendered impacts of policies and practices aimed at extending working life (EWL) in five contrasting national settings (the Czech Republic, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK), using a mixed methods research design inspired by insights from life-course and gender studies. The project addresses two significant and timely issues: labour market participation in later life and the influence of labour market and family trajectories on the experiences of older workers in different national and occupational contexts.

This report explores the issue of extending working life in the Swiss context. It begins by mapping the employment patterns of older workers (50+), insisting on the differences in employment histories, working conditions and the transition to retirement that are associated with the normative expectations of the dominant “modified male breadwinner” Swiss gender model. The report then goes on to present the three-tier Swiss pension regime and to analyse the consequences of recent – or proposed – policy reforms to this system. It insists on the huge gender pension gap in the Swiss context and analyses the consequences of this for older workers from different social backgrounds. The report concludes by summing up the important features of the EWL debate in Switzerland from a gender perspective and identifying gaps in the current state of research on this topic.

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Long-term changes in married couples’ labor supply and taxes: Evidence from the US and Europe since the 1980s

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Trajectories of Life Satisfaction Before, Upon, and After Divorce: Evidence From a New Matching Approach

The new DIAL working paper by Scheppingen and Leopold Trajectories of Life Satisfaction Before, Upon, and After Divorce: Evidence from a New Matching Approach analyses how divorce influences life satisfaction. The results indicate that life satisfaction declines among divorcees, and that some declines last at least five years after the divorce.

Van Scheppingen and Leopold analyse trajectories of life satisfaction with data from the longitudinal German Socio-Economic Panel Study. They match individuals who experience a divorce with individuals as similar to them as possible but who do not experience a divorce. By comparing these two groups, the authors can take into account other marriage-related factors that influence life satisfaction as well as the general decline in life satisfaction that tends to take place after marriage.

The results show that life satisfaction indeed declines more among divorcees than individuals who remain married. This relative decline starts years before divorce and is most pronounced at the time of the divorce. Life satisfaction rises again after divorce but remains at lower levels as compared to married individuals. The change in life satisfaction is not the same among all divorcees, indicating that some show full recovery, as others remain at lower levels of life satisfaction until years after the divorce.

Divorce and the Growth of Poverty Gaps Over the Life Course: A Risk and Vulnerability Approach

A new paper by Hogendoorn, Leopold and Bol, Divorce and the Growth of Poverty Gaps Over the Life Course: A Risk and Vulnerability Approach, published in the DIAL working paper series, examines educational gradients in the relationship between divorce and poverty. The authors take a new approach to studying growing poverty gaps between education groups by combining theoretical aspects of gradients in the probability of divorce (risk) and gradients in how divorce influences poverty (vulnerability). Previous studies have demonstrated that the lower educated have both a higher risk of divorce, and have suggested they also have a higher probability to suffer from the negative consequences of divorce. However, by studying risk and vulnerability separately, previous research has not fully assessed their joint contributions to poverty.

Hogendoorn and colleagues study the educational gradients in divorce and poverty using longitudinal administrative data from the Netherlands. They confirm that the lower educated indeed have the highest risk of divorce and the highest probability to fall into poverty after divorce. These gradients also strengthen over the life course, which means that the contributions of divorce to poverty among lower educated men and women increase as they age. However, the contributions of divorce to poverty differ by gender and parenthood, for example mothers seem to be particularly likely to fall into poverty after divorce than any other group.

One of the main contributions of the paper is the two-fold approach of risk and vulnerability of divorce and how they have contributed to the increased poverty gaps between education groups. Hogendoorn and colleagues illustrate that especially among mothers, both risk and vulnerability of divorce contribute significantly to the educational gradient in poverty. The phenomenon is less substantial among childless individuals and absent among fathers.

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Measuring Unfair Inequality: Reconciling Equality of Opportunity and Freedom from Poverty

Measuring Unfair Inequality: Reconciling Equality of Opportunity and Freedom from Poverty, a new working paper by Hufe, Kanbur and Peichl, takes up the issue of multifaceted inequality by putting forth a new measure of unfair inequality. The authors argue that inequality is not bad per se, but that one should differentiate between different aspects of inequality in order to make normative statements about the fairness of a given income distribution.

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