Overtime: America's Aging Workforce and the Future of Working Longer (Hardcover)
America is at a crossroads in its approach to work and retirement. Many policymakers think it's logical--almost inevitable--that Americans will delay retirement and spend more years in the paid labor force. But it's an assumption that doesn't match the reality faced by a large and growing proportion of Americans. Though in many ways today's middle-aged adults are less financially prepared for retirement than today's retirees, precarious working conditions, family caregiving responsibilities, poor health, and age discrimination will make it difficult or impossible for many to work longer. Overtime offers a current, revelatory corrective to our understanding of the future of the American workforce and aging. Experts across economics, sociology, psychology, political science, and epidemiology examine how increasing economic and social inequalities, coupled with changes across generations or birth cohorts, call for a rethinking of the working-longer policy framework. The contributors examine trends and inequalities in employment, health, family dynamics, and politics, helping to shed light on the challenges faced by traditionally marginalized social groups while showing that our society's responses to an aging workforce affect us all. Together, they argue that policies affecting work must be considered alongside policies affecting retirement and provide a path forward to achieve better retirement security for all Americans. Drawing on the deep and varied expertise of its contributors, Overtime critically questions the conventional thinking of policy makers in this space to chart a more likely course for older Americans in the twenty-first century--one less reductive than simply "working longer.
Lisa F. Berkman is Director of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies (HCPDS) and the Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy and of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She is an internationally recognized social epidemiologist whose work focuses extensively on social and policy influences on population health and health equity. Her research orients toward understanding inequalities in health related to working conditions, social and economic policies, and social networks and isolation. Beth Truesdale is a research fellow at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research and a visiting scientist at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. Dr. Truesdale is a sociologist whose research focuses on inequalities in work and aging, the future of retirement, and the effects of social institutions and public policies on Americans' well-being.