Special Perspectives

Redistributing Work in Aging Europe

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Science  30 Jun 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5782, pp. 1911-1913
DOI: 10.1126/science.1127487

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Abstract

As Europe ages, the proportion of people who work will decline unless older individuals remain in the labor force. Such reform could be part of a more general redistribution of work. If a greater share of the population worked, then the average number of hours worked per week could be reduced. This could particularly help younger people and increase Europe's low birth rates. The challenges facing Germany, Europe's most populous country, are highlighted, but statistics are also given for five other European countries and, for comparison, the United States. Social science research is needed to provide policy-relevant knowledge about life-course options.

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