Associations between paid and unpaid work among Norwegian seniors: competition, complementarity or continuity?
Peer reviewed, Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionEuropean Journal of Ageing https://doi.org/10.1007/s10433-021-00615-9
A key issue in policy debates on active ageing is how to increase older people’s participation in both paid and unpaid work. This combined goal raises the question of whether the different activities compete for seniors’ time and energy or whether it is possible to achieve both, since such activities may instead complement one another. To address this issue, we examine associations between paid work, informal help provision and formal volunteering among 62- to 75-year-olds by using longitudinal data from the Norwegian Life Course, Ageing and Generation Study (2007, 2017). Our analyses show that both work exit and part-time work are associated with a higher probability of doing unpaid work in senior years compared with full-time work. However, previous engagement in unpaid activities matters considerably, regardless of paid work status. Individuals involved in informal help or formal voluntary work in 2007 were far more likely to do unpaid work 10 years later than those who were not involved. Since seniors who are already engaged in unpaid activities before leaving the labour market are likely to continue to provide informal help and volunteer, we argue that initiatives to stimulate combinations of paid and unpaid work in late careers may be advantageous.