Bernhard Ebbinghaus (PERG Lecture): Reversing early exit from work in Europe - Overcoming push and pull towards early retirement

December 5, 2013 - 17:30 - 19:00
Nador u. 9, Monument Building
Event type: 
Event audience: 
Prof. Bernhard Ebbinghaus
CEU organizer(s): 
Bastian Becker
CEU contact person: 
Bastian Becker
Prof. Ebbinghaus

The Political Economy Research Group (PERG) presents:

Prof. Bernhard Ebbinghaus (University of Mannheim)

Reversing early exit from work in Europe - Overcoming push and pull towards early retirement


Recent reform efforts of advanced welfare states have attempted to reverse early retirement trends and increase the statutory retirement age often against the protest of unions, firms and their employees. Early exit from work has become a widespread practice as a consequence of expanding welfare states and as response to economic challenges since the 1970s. Early retirement has been part of Continental Europe’s welfare without work problem, while the Scandinavian welfare states, the Anglophone liberal economies and the Japanese welfare society were able to maintain higher levels of employment for older workers. Since the 1990s, an international consensus to reverse early exit from work emerged among international organizations and national policy experts. Based on a comparative historical analysis of selected OECD countries, this study analyses the cross-national variations in the institutionalization of early exit regimes and its recent reversal using macro-indictors on early exit trends and stylized information on institutional arrangements. Comparing the interaction of social policy and economic institutions, it reviews the cross-national differences in welfare state “pull” and economic “push” factors that have contributed to early exit from work and discusses the likely impact of welfare retrenchment and “stay” factors such as activation policies in decreasing early exit from work.

About the lecturer:
Since October 2004 Dr. Ebbinghaus is Professor of Sociology (Chair of Macrosociology) at the School of Social Sciences of the University of Mannheim. He is also since March 2013 for three years Guest Professor at the University of Luxembourg. From February 2008 until January 2011 he was Director of the Mannheim Center for European Social Research (MZES), previously he was Head of the MZES Research Department A on “European Societies and their Integration” from 2005 to 2008. From November 2006 to October 2009 he was Academic Director of the Center for Doctoral Studies in Social & Behavioral Sciences (CDSS) of the Graduate School of Economic and Social Sciences (GESS). From February 2011 until January 2012 he is on sabbatical (visiting in spring 2011 the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin), while Dr. Thomas Bahle is Visiting Professor at the Chair during 2011.