Joining late, leaving early? Immigrant-native disparities in labor market exit

Published: 22 June 2023

Theory and empirical findings on retirement determinants suggest that we may expect differences in labor market exit between native and foreign-born workers. Despite many countries seeing rising immigrant shares in their aging populations, alongside significant labor market disparities, the issue has so far received limited attention. Population-wide administrative data for Sweden show that the hazard rate to retirement is greater among immigrants already from age 50. But approaching age 65, especially marginal migrant groups have a stronger tendency to remain in the labor force and thus not adhering to the norm of retiring at a specific age. Education and family situation explain little of the retirement gaps, whereas labor market history, health, and occupational allocations are important determinants. Immigrant-native retirement differences are greater among men than among women. Overall findings suggest economic necessity and/or opportunity rather than varying preferences as drivers of differentials.


IFAU working paper 2023:15 is written by Fredrik Larsson, Lisa Laun and Olof Åslund. For more information, contact Lisa Laun on phone 018-471 6056 or, or Olof Åslund on phone 018-471 5102 or