Areas of research

  • Social inequalities in work and retirement
  • Careers and labour market mobility across the life course
  • Political economy of labour market and pension reforms


My research focuses on the ways people transition from work to retirement. I am mainly interested in the role of individual characteristics and different life courses on the one hand, and the role of labour-market structures and policy context on the other. Apart from studying the Finnish situation, I am keen on doing comparative research. My academic background is in quantitative Sociology and Social Policy. I am particularly interested in using advanced and innovative methods to analyse longitudinal register and survey data.

Labour markets are changing profoundly as a result of globalization and technological change. In this project we investigate how these changes impact the stability of employment and careers. Focusing on industrial sectors, the aim is to observe whether there are trends towards de-standardisation and destabilisation of work life in recent decades. If changes in stability have taken place, have some groups been affected more than others? Special attention is paid to gender and socioeconomic differences. We also investigate whether certain interventions, such as workers’ skill-upgrading or firms’ investment in research & development, can have positive effects on employment stability and social mobility. We use register-based linked employer-employee data for the years 1988­­–2016 and an array of statistical methods for the analysis of longitudinal and multilevel data. At the same time, qualitative data is collected through interviews with stakeholders. Results will be published in a book and several journal articles.

Schedule: August 2018 – August 2020

Researchers: Aart-Jan Riekhoff, Satu Ojala (TUNI), Pasi Pyöriä (TUNI), Katri-Maria Järvinen (TUNI), Liudmila Lipiäinen (TUNI)

Surviving a severe and acute illness, such as cancer, a heart attack or stroke, is likely to disrupt peoples’ lives and have long-term consequences in many ways. This not only applies to the person experiencing such a health shock, but also to others in the household. In this study, we investigate how couples adjust in the labour market when one of the spouses becomes gravely ill. Using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) and applying multichannel sequence analysis, we aim to identify typical combined patterns in couples’ labour market statuses before and after the health shock. In a next step, we analyse the factors that buffer or exacerbate the impact of the health shock. We are particularly interested in finding out whether socioeconomic inequalities between couples are reproduced or even magnified in the face of adverse life course events.

Schedule: September 2019–2021

Researchers: Aart-Jan Riekhoff, Maria Vaalavuo (THL), Katja Möhring (University of Mannheim)

The aim of this research project is to shed light on the various factors underlying the subjective views of economic well-being of older Europeans. First, we are interested in how subjective economic well-being (SEW) is related to individuals’ income levels, source of income, socioeconomic status and gender. Second, the project pays special attention to how household structure and various household members’ resources affect SEW. Third, we aim to compare countries and identify factors at the macrolevel that influence individuals’ and households’ SEW. The empirical analysis is based on the EU-SILC survey data, in combination with data extracted from other external sources. Results will be published in international scientific journals on ageing and social policy.

Schedule: 2020–2022

Researchers: Liisa-Maria Palomäki, Kati Kuitto, Susan Kuivalainen, Aart-Jan Riekhoff

sisältöä tulossa