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Europe’s Middle-Age Trap

CAMBRIDGE – European policymakers have finally recognized the severity of their youth-marginalization problem. But, just over the horizon, there looms another social catastrophe that they have yet to acknowledge. This time, it is middle-aged workers who are poised to suffer.

This might seem surprising, given that middle-aged workers seem to be the winners in today’s system. Workers in their late forties and early fifties enjoy stable employment, control the political system, and are less vulnerable to economic downturns than their colleagues who are closer to pension age.