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Pathways to Retirement and the Self-Employed

Oct 2015 to Apr 2017



Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
  • To gain new insights regarding labor market pathways to retirement with particular attention to the role of self-employment
  • To analyze the labor market participation of the 1945 birth cohort from ages 54 – 68 in a comprehensive manner.

One objective is to better understand the earnings experience of elderly workers who switch from wage and salary employment to self-employment.   What fraction of their earlier wage income are they replacing with their self-employment income?   Do they appear to be working full time or part time? How much of the increased labor force participation of the elderly is due to people declaring themselves as self-employed?  Does self-employment appear to prolong working lives? Do the self-employed appear to use different strategies for claiming Social Security and drawing down on their retirement assets?