Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Provisional Estimates of Length of Working life in Pakistan

Author: Lee L. Bean

Life table techniques have been used fairly widely to determine the working life of the labour force or work-life expectancy [6; 7; 8; 18; 23]. The length of working life in developing countries, however, is often unknown or estimates are based upon very rigid assumptions which are not realistic given the conditions of labour in such countries. For example, Mortara’s international comparisons are based upon the assumption that the activity ages are always 15 to 60 years only (6]. Such an assumption leads to a low estimate of work-life expectancy in count¬ries such as Pakistan where the lower age of large scale labour force participation is, at a minimum, age 10 as officially defined in the labour force statistics and where individuals apparently maintain some connection with the labour force during latter years of life. Specific estimates of the length of working life depend upon fairly refined data including age specific activity rates and a life table. The 1961 Census of Pakistan and the Population Growth Estimation project make such data now available for Pakistan. It is therefore the purpose of this paper to utilize these data to generate and evaluate work-life tables for the male population of East and West Pakistan. This study is restricted to males since female labour force participation in Pakistan is low and the movement of women in and out of the labour force presents many unique problems which have only recently been solved in countries where extensive statistical data are available. Furthermore the analysis presented here deals with the two provinces separately because of mortality [4] and labour differences.

Lee L. Bean

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