The double standard in attitudes toward retirement - The case of the Netherlands

Hendrik P. Van Dalen*, Kène Henkens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


In the coming decades, the importance of the older worker for the Dutch labour market will become apparent as the population ageing process progresses. Extending working careers may turn out to be a double dividend for welfare states like the Netherlands as it can prevent drastic cuts in benefits or large increases in pension contributions. The average Dutch worker, however, has a double standard when considering the prospect of working longer: while agreeing that working longer may well become necessary, workers do not think it will apply to them personally. Two structural impediments may explain this ambivalence and the low labour force participation of older workers: (1) stereotypes of older workers held by both employers and employees and (2) attitudes towards working longer are sensitive to the business cycle. Whereas solidarity with older workers seems to be a principle that holds true in good times, in times of recession other rules apply.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-710
Number of pages18
JournalGeneva Papers on Risk and Insurance: Issues and Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005


  • Ageing
  • Early retirement
  • Labour market
  • Older worker
  • Pensions


Dive into the research topics of 'The double standard in attitudes toward retirement - The case of the Netherlands'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this