Scientific studies on the predictors of working after retirement have mostly neglected individuals’ work histories. We present an integrative framework based on life course theory to investigate the extent to which characteristics of work histories explain the decision to work after retirement. The data are retrieved from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), combining information on life histories with information on current retirement. The results of our logistic models show that the larger the share of parttime work or self-employment over the work career, the higher the likelihood to work after retirement. Also, those with high occupational status and flexible careers are particularly likely to work after retirement. Regarding gender, we found that divorced women are particularly likely to work after retirement, but only if they did not remarry. We conclude that inequalities that develop across the life course continue to play a role after retirement.

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