From externalisation to integration of older workers: institutional changes at the end of the worklife

Bert de Vroom and Anne Marie Guillemard

in Changing labour markets, welfare policies and citizenship

Published by Policy Press

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9781861342720
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301660 | DOI:
From externalisation to integration of older workers: institutional changes at the end of the worklife

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This chapter discusses changes in the labour market, the interrelationship of these with welfare policies and their joint impact on citizenship from the perspective of ageing workers. Labour market and social policies have had a profound impact on the organisation of the end of worklife for ageing workers in the past decades. In several welfare states, social programmes have been used as instruments to ‘externalise’ older workers from the labour market. This is referred to as the ‘early exit’ of older workers. However, recently, this policy has been reversed. Many welfare states have changed the early exit into late exit. Instead of ‘externalisation’ of older workers, today, the political target is the ‘re-integration’ of older workers. Against this background of developments and changes, this chapter addresses two questions. First, it determines whether and how countries will be able to turn the massive and the highly institutionalised early exit into a new pattern of late exit. It is assumed that this change from early to late exit needs a more complicated and fundamental change in the regulating mechanism of welfare states than is expected. At the same time, dismantling the longstanding welfare state practice might be very difficult as a result of ‘policy feedback’ and ‘path dependencies’. The second question addresses the dimension of citizenship and marginalisation. It focuses on whether early exit from the labour market should be seen as a loss of social citizenship and an increase of marginalisation. It also considers whether the reverse of the early exit trend is an extension of social citizenship and social inclusion or whether late exit is a result of the dismantling of the social right to retire early. The chapter also discusses early exit patterns Europe, particularly in Denmark and France. It also analyses and describes the institutional changes in both countries and relates the findings to the changes in: welfare state's paradigms; lifecourse; and conceptualisation of citizenship.

Keywords: labour market; welfare policies; impact on citizenship; ageing workers; end of worklife; externalise; early exit; externalisation; re-integration; citizenship and marginalisation

Chapter.  10091 words. 

Subjects: Occupations, Professions, and Work

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