Health Capacity to Work and Its Long-term Trend among the Japanese Elderly

Author Name OSHIO Takashi (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. November 2018 18-E-079
Research Project Study on the Medium- to Long-term Social Security System
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This study examines the elderly health-based capacity to work—that is, how much longer the elderly can work judging by their health—and the long-term trend between 1986 and 2016 by using microdata obtained from the nation-wide, population-based survey, "Comprehensive Survey of the Living Conditions," which was conducted and released by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of the Japanese Government. Based on the estimated relationship between health and work statuses among individuals in their 50s, this study simulated their capacity to continue working in their 60s and early 70s. The simulation results revealed a large additional work capacity among the elderly, as well as the possibility of some shift from part-time to full-time jobs among elderly males. This study further observed that this additional work capacity has increased over the past 30 years along with the improvement of health, although health conditions still prevent some individuals from working. Results underscore the need for policy measures that can allow for the utilization of the unexploited work capacity of the elderly.

Published: Oshio, Takashi, and Satoshi Shimizutani, 2019. "Health capacity to work and its long-term trend among the Japanese elderly," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Vol. 51, pp. 76-86