Modelling The Retirement Timing of Canadian Nurses Using A Panel Survey

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Speaker: Lady Bolongaita

Date/Time: April 17, 10 AM – 12 PM


An aging population increases the need for nurses; however, nurses themselves are also aging as 40% of today’s nurses are retiring over the next fifteen years. The number of practicing nurses is expected to decrease sooner since nurses, on average, retire early. These trends may result in a nursing shortage that negatively impacts the quality of care that patients receive. To ensure an adequate supply of nurses, factors that impact nurses’ decision to retire must be identified and addressed. A lot of work has been focused on identifying these factors; however, there are few causal studies that relate nurses’ job characteristics to retirement timing. Since job characteristics strongly impact nurses’ health and financial resources, then job characteristics play an integral part in nurses’ decisions to retire. This research study aims to (1) establish how job characteristics impact nurses’ health status, and (2) show the causal impact of job characteristics and health on nurses’ retirement timing.

The study is informed by a Galama and colleagues’ theoretical framework (published in Health Economics, 2013) that embeds the decision to retire in Grossman’s human capital framework of health. The study’s sample population consists of late career nurses (at least 50 years old) who were engaged with the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, which is a panel survey, between 1996 and 2008. A two-stage residual inclusion model is used to model the endogenous relationship between health and labour force participation. The first stage identifies factors that are related to self-assessed health. The second stage, which is a multinomial probit regression, investigates the factors that determine labour force participation, including health status, job characteristics and pension benefits as explanatory variables. This talk presents the study’s preliminary findings.


Lady Bolongaita is a registered nurse and a PhD student at the Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation in the Health Economics stream. She is also a fellow of the Canadian Centre for Health Economics. Her research focuses on the labour supply decisions of Canadian regulated nurses; specifically, nurses’ decision to participate in the labour force, number of hours worked and sector of employment. Lady also explores regulated nurses’ retirement timing using a panel survey.