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Thus, Chapter 4 examines those factors which negatively affect the attitudes of employers towards older workers. Chapter 5 looks at barriers that workers themselves face to gaining access to better jobs. Finally, Chapter 6 emphasises the importance of policy coherence in implementing reforms. AGEING AND EMPLOYMENT POLICIES: ITALY – ISBN-92-64-01703-8 © OECD 2004 CHAPTER 1. THE CHALLENGE AHEAD – 33 Chapter 1 THE CHALLENGE AHEAD In Italy, the ageing process is well underway. The old-age dependency ratio is already one of the highest in the OECD countries in 2000 and will continue to rise steeply.

For Italian women, the effective retirement age has fallen from almost 62 years in the mid-1980s to 57 years in the mid-1990s. The fall recorded until the mid-1990s is the result of policies undertaken in previous decades when early retirement was used to support companies in crisis and to favour the employment of younger workers. 1. Average effective age of retirement by gender in Italy, a 1960-2002 65 64 Men 63 62 61 Women 60 59 58 57 56 702 499 19 9 297 19 9 095 19 9 893 19 9 691 19 8 489 19 8 287 19 8 085 19 8 883 19 8 681 19 7 479 19 7 277 19 7 075 19 7 873 19 7 671 19 6 469 19 6 267 19 6 19 6 19 6 065 55 a) Estimated average age at which individuals older than 40 left the labour force during any given five-year period.

The estimates are derived using pseudo cohorts by five-year age groups for persons initially aged 40 and over. They are calculated by weighting the average age of each cohort over a given five-year period by its share of the total decline in participation rates for all cohorts between the beginning and end of the period. Source: OECD estimates. 14 A more disaggregated analysis shows that the change of behaviour can mainly be ascribed to the reduced number of very early retirements, concerning workers aged less than 55 (Ministry of Labour and Social Policies, 2002a).

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