The clustering of countries according to policy measures concerning early retirement
Faculty of Social Sciences. Sociology
International Review of Social Sciences and Humanities
, p. 1-19
University of Antwerp
This article examines ways in which countries are clustered according to policy measures concerning early retirement decisions of older workers (50+). The research is conducted with of cluster analysis and a distinction is made between push and pull factors. The clustering of institutional variables is examined over several points in time (1999, 2002, 2005 and 2008) and in 17 different countries (EU-15 plus Poland and Hungary). The results are compared with the welfare state typology of Esping-Andersen (1990) and the model developed by Blossfeld and colleagues (2006). The analysis reveals clear differences in policy indicators among several types of countries over the years. Within the framework of the Lisbon objectives, social-democratic countries succeed quite well in activating older workers. Finland and the Netherlands have made important policy shifts aimed at eliminating early retirement, while this poses a considerable challenge for welfare states in Central and Southern Europe.