The life course determinants of vulnerability in late careers


  • Ignacio Madero-Cabib Université de Lausanne



late careers, vulnerability, cumulative disadvantages, SHARELIFE Data, longitudinal methods


Late career is often seen as a more vulnerable life-stage in the labour market, in which workers may experience a deterioration in job quality. Using a life course perspective and longitudinal data, this article analyses the vulnerability associated with late career by focusing on four occupational dimensions: working-time, career continuity, retirement timing and income change. The research is carried out using data from Switzerland, a country where the age profile of the labour force is an increasing issue. The paper also adopts a cumulative disadvantage perspective to examine the impact of previous work and family life experiences on work life vulnerability at older age. Our data come from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARELIFE). The paper uses cluster analysis, sequence analysis and ordered logistic regression. Results show that women with previous family responsibilities resulting in long-term unemployment or caring, often with health complications, are more likely to be vulnerable to deterioration in job quality in late career. This suggests that experiences in the last period of the working life may be just as gendered as earlier periods.

Author Biography

Ignacio Madero-Cabib, Université de Lausanne

LIVES Research Center

Life Course and Social Inequality Research Center