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We may be witnessing the last gasp of early retirement — not just in the United States but in many industrialized countries. Considering the high unemployment since the 2008 financial crisis, you might expect the opposite. Early retirement would flourish. It would strike many unemployed older workers as the path of least resistance. Can’t get a job? Retire instead. Surely this has happened, but it’s being diluted by a determination to work longer. Early retirement is in retreat.

So finds a new study of 20 advanced countries done by economists Gary Burtless and Barry Bosworth of the Brookings Institution, a think tank. Excluding countries with depression-like unemployment — Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland — all these nations have experienced higher labor force participation by older workers since 2007. Some gains are startling. In Germany, the share of the 60-to-64 population with jobs went from 33 percent in 2007 to 47 percent in 2012; in the Netherlands, from 30 percent to 44 percent.

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