Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.20, No.3, 2004. pp. 495517

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Estimating Marginal Cohort Working Life Expectancies from Sequential Cross-sectional Survey Data

This article applies recently developed health expectancy methodologies to estimate the average duration of future work life in different states of work ability. Data on working capacity obtained from sequential cross-sectional samples of the cohort population were available from Finnish surveys conducted among active municipal employees. We used these data to estimate cohort marginal probabilities and expected occupancy times in the work ability states. One finding is that the proportion of workers with excellent or good work ability decreased monotonically with advancing age for both genders, but men were prone to have worse work ability and a shorter work career than women. Transition from poor to good or excellent work ability state was estimated to increase working life expectancy of a 45-year-old person by four years for both genders. This study indicates that the work ability of aging Finnish workers deteriorates prematurely, leading to serious socio-economic consequences. Thus it is important to examine the development of work ability already at an early age when it is still possible to intervene in the process.

Biostatistics, epidemiological methods, health expectancy, work ability

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