In a recent presentation to the Western Economics Association's 87th Annual Conference in San Francisco, CA, Dr. Kevin E. Cahill, ECONorthwest senior economist, presented his recent research on the impact of the Great Recession on post-career transitions into and out of self-employment among older Americans.
In his research, Dr. Cahill used the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a nationally-representative longitudinal dataset of older Americans, to investigate the role of self-employment in the retirement transitions of HRS Core respondents over nearly two decades, from 1992 to 2010, with particular emphasis on recent years. Dr. Cahill found that post-career transitions into and out of self-employment remain common in the face of the Great Recession. Health status, occupation, and financial variables remain important determinants of switches from wage-and-salary career employment to self-employed bridge jobs.
In his presentation, Dr. Cahill noted that the 1990s and 2000s witnessed an increase in self-employment substantially later in life, partly because self-employment provides older workers with opportunities not found in wage-and-salary jobs. The evidence suggests that self-employment is an important pathway to retirement for many Americans and these transitions have become even more prominent in recent years.
Dr. Kevin E. Cahill specializes in the economics of aging, labor and health economics, and statistical methods. He is a senior economist and the managing director of ECONorthwest's new office in Boise, Idaho. Read more about ECONorthwest's expanding presence in Idaho.