Research Group on Aging and the Life Course (FALL)
Funded by the Hans-Böckler-Stiftung, 1986-1988
The empirical study is based on three methodological steps:
The accomodation of the firms to the pre-retirement regulation, the interests of the industrial actors, and the situation of the older workers are the first focus of the case studies. Furthermore they are necessary to analyze the prerequisites of the individual retirement decision since they shed light on the constraints and alternatives of the individual choices. By combining company and individual data we are able to conceptualize the retirement decision as a process of negotiation. The first part of the mail survey queries the attitudes toward the pre-retirement regulation. A second questionnaire was directed to the respective life-situation of the current "pre-retirees", to the prospective and interested pre-retirees, and to those who refused to participate in the regulation. This combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, in the sense of a "triangulation", increases the validity and reliability of the results and enables a better estimation of their range.
The study examines at the firms´ treatment of older workers as well as their personal experiences and expectations. It not only provides basic knowledge for decisions in the context of social policy and collective bargaining but also contributes to the theoretical interpretation of the early exit trend.
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