The focus of our research is to study factors that affect the extent to which persons continue to be actively involved in civil society or in paid work (both as self-employed and wage earners) after retirement age and the consequences for health and quality of life. Much research has been done on ageing and the importance of an active life-style in general, but little is known about the kind of active involvement in focus for this project. At the same time, a progressively larger proportion of the Swedish population reaches an advanced age and in better health than previous generations.
The members come from different disciplines that are all relevant for the research field: Psychology, Economics, Law, Sociology and Medical Science. Most of us have a good scientific record and we all know each other well from many years of previous interdisciplinary collaboration in higher education.
Stayers on the Labour market
Which are the main motivational factors affecting the decision to continue to work beyond retirement age? The first step is to identify the population of "Stayers" and the socioeconomic factors affecting the likelihood to remain in the labour market.
This analysis, mainly based on individual data, allow us to identify the population of “stayers” (entrepreneurs/self employed and wage earners) and their main characteristics relative to the “leavers”. Even though we want to focus on and highlight the situation among Småland municipalities, we also intend to make comparisons with other Swedish regions and municipalities.
Another objective is to identify the importance of legal and other obstacles, such as age discrimination, employers’ human resource strategies, stakeholder pressures and attitudes from co-workers in the decision to stay or leave the labour market. We are also interested to analyse the disparities between “stayers” and “leavers”, regarding physical and cognitive health, life and work history?
Finally, which are the personal implications of deciding to continue to work, in terms of health, longevity and subjective well being?
Other research issues are also important such as:
- Is there a relationship between socioeconomic status (SES), gender, competence and social relations related to subjective well-being (SWB) for this group compared with those who have chosen to retire?
- How have earlier choices affected the stayers?
- Are there cultural reasons for staying (here in terms of regional and/or municipal differences)?
- What are the characteristics of stayers in terms of personality traits (OCEAN focusing on O),12 creativity and personal outlook (optimism/pessimism)?
Further we will attempt to investigate actual physical health and compare this with subjectively experienced physical health, experienced age, with biological age and actual age, cortisol markers to ascertain ‘stress-levels’, cognition and plasticity in stayers and compare with a group of leavers.
In this project we want to define and develop the concept of sustainable ageing, identify the conditions needed to promote it, compare with actual conditions in society and finally suggest changes needed on different levels to realise sustainable ageing.
The concept of sustainability involves dimensions of human rights, welfare rules and norms, democracy and protection for the individual. For those who wish to stay on and work after 65 legislation and social norms might either facilitate or hinder. What is sustainable ageing and what kind of legislation needs to be set in place to ‘protect’ the choices individuals 65+ wish to make?
Sustainability also involves psychological, social, gender, cultural, administrative and economic factors and in addition how rules are implemented in practice. Furthermore, we also want to investigate the potential regional disparities along these dimensions. Furthermore, we also want to investigate the potential regional disparities along these dimensions. Is Småland different compared to other parts of Sweden?
If we want to study conditions and suggest changes to promote sustainable ageing, such a venture cannot limit itself only to look at regional and national levels. The importance of national law and legal rules is prima facie in practice. National states are still the most important organisational unit in international society. But, international rules today directly and indirectly affect, deal and regulate our daily life unprecedented comparing with 50-40 years ago. The development of new international rules is pledging the national states to adopt and make laws according to their international obligations. European Union law, which is part of international law, is directly effective and applicable in Sweden. To exemplify, Protocol No 12 to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) includes age as a form of prohibited discrimination. How international law is implemented to have a real effect on the life of elderly people also in Sweden, both on a national and regional level, is therefore an important part of this project as well.
Dominique Anxo, professor
Dominique Anxo's research interests fall broadly into the areas of labour economics, industrial relations, gender economics and evaluation of employment and labour market policy.
Francesco Barbabella's research areas falls broadly into the areas of health and caring sciences.
Thomas Ericsson, senior lecturer
Thomas Ericson's research falls broadly into the area of labour and gender economics.
Anna Herbert, senior lecturer
Anna Herbert's research area falls broadly within the areas of stress research and psychological pedagogy.
Abdul K Mohammed, senior professor
Abdul Mohammed has a research focus on the impact of environment on brain and cognitive function with special emphasis on Alzheimer Disease (AD) and ageing.
Glenn Sjöstrand, senior lecturer
Glenn Sjöstrand's primary research and theoretical interest is economic sociology and the sociology of professions.
Gerhard Bosch, Institute for Work, Skills and Training, University Duisburg-Essen
Jerome Gautie, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University
Damian Grimshaw, Manchester Business School, University of Manchester
Kene Henkens, University of Amsterdam
Per H Jensen, Aalborg University
Rafael Muñoz de Bustillo Llorente, Universidad de Salamanca
Jill Rubery, Manchester Business School, University of Manchester
Joop Schippers, Utrecht University
Annamaria Simonazzi, Sapienza University Roma