The age patterns and their stability by industry and occupation in Taiwan during 1956-1980

Suoqun Liu, University of Pennsylvania


Age has been identified as an important factor in determining many socioeconomic processes such as enrollment in schools and entry into labor force. However, rather scarce efforts have been made in examining the age segregation or integration of workers in individual industries and occupations. The primary goals of this study are to tackle the issue of whether workers in various industrial and occupational groups have their age structures and keep them over time, and if yes, what emerges as the prominent factor in accounting for it. The current study is based on the census data of Taiwan in 1958, 1966, 1970, 1975, and 1980. By comparing labor force age structures in individual industrial and occupational groups over time and across sexes, and further by applying loglinear analyses, the age stability within each industry and occupation is rather convincingly illustrated. This implicitly indicates that there must be movements of workers among various industrial and occupational groups in order to make the age structures stable. Therefore by following age cohorts of workers over census years and decomposing total workers' change into net entries and withdrawals, deaths, and net movements, this study helps us in understanding the magnitude of the movements of workers and their directions. The hypothesis that workers of different ages "fit" different industries and occupations emerges to be the predominating factor in formulating the specific age structures of workers in individual industrial and occupational groups: First, certain jobs are more suitable to workers of certain ages; Second, employers in various jobs have different employment policies and older workers are pushed into the "marginal" sectors, such as agriculture and service sectors. However, to explore the issue more throughly, micro-level study is called for to examine the detailed process of how workers of different ages adapt to various industries and occupations.

Subject Area

Demographics|Management|Labor economics

Recommended Citation

Liu, Suoqun, "The age patterns and their stability by industry and occupation in Taiwan during 1956-1980" (1988). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI8824763.