Comparison between the Spanish and Italian early work retirement models: A cluster analysis approach
Purpose ¿ The aim of this study is to compare the Spanish and Italian early work retirement (EWR) models in a sample comprising individuals from both countries based on the level of voluntariness involved in labour market exit, psychosocial outcomes, perceived consequences, socio-demographic variables and motivation. Design/methodology/approach ¿ The authors used a cluster analysis approach to carry out a cross-sectional study based on a total sample of 1,131 early retirees (605 Spaniards and 526 Italians) drawn from different industries. Findings ¿ In the Spanish but not in the Italian case, EWR was predominantly perceived as forced. K-means cluster analysis identified four groups of early retirees in both countries based on perceived outcomes of EWR. Two of these clusters represent extreme positive and negative assessments of early retirement consequences, while the remaining two reflect intermediate positions. Research limitations/implications ¿ These results show that the involuntary Spanish EWR model is associated with a significant negative outcomes cluster, whereas voluntary early retirees in Italy are significantly grouped in the positive outcomes cluster. Variables referring to early exit motives, attitudes towards work and post-working life and psychosocial adjustment are employed to define the clusters. Originality/value ¿ This study reveals the existence of significant differences in the level of voluntariness between EWR in Spain and its Italian counterpart, in line with the findings obtained by other researchers. The findings support the conclusions of studies that suggest the existence of differences in post-employment life depending on the level of voluntariness concerned in retirement from the labour market.