Behavioral Science and the Facilitation of Extended Working Lives

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  • Title: Behavioral Science and the Facilitation of Extended Working Lives: A Commentary on How Behavioral Nudges Can Help Counteract Workplace Ageism
  • Author(s): Valerie Edgell, Dilek Onkal, Serena Salvi
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Common Ground Open
  • Journal Title: The Journal of Aging and Social Change
  • Keywords: Extended Working Lives, Older Workers, Behavioral Science, Cross-disciplinary Research
  • Volume: 13
  • Issue: 2
  • Date: March 17, 2023
  • ISSN: 2576-5310 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2576-5329 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2576-5310/CGP/v13i02/29-47
  • Citation: Edgell, Valerie, Dilek Onkal, and Serena Salvi. 2023. "Behavioral Science and the Facilitation of Extended Working Lives: A Commentary on How Behavioral Nudges Can Help Counteract Workplace Ageism." The Journal of Aging and Social Change 13 (2): 29-47. doi:10.18848/2576-5310/CGP/v13i02/29-47.
  • Extent: 19 pages

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Abstract

International government policy narratives responding to population aging have emphasized the public expenditure challenges associated with this demographic change. Despite this, ageism remains a major obstacle to extended working lives and the preferred retirement ages of older workers do not always mirror the policy direction. In this commentary, we argue that behavioral science can offer insights into how these deeply engrained attitudes and behaviors might be changed to promote extended working lives. Behavioral science involves a systematic study of human behavior, actions, and the choice architecture, with particular emphasis on understanding how incentives and information could be used to change behavior. We review the existing social gerontological and human resource management literature on ageistic attitudes and behaviors and embed this in the behavioral science literature to establish a cross-disciplinary research agenda that recognizes the heterogeneous needs, preferences, and experiences of older workers.