The life-cycle argument: Age as a mediator of pharmacists' earnings

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Age diversity poses challenges to pharmacy employers and managers. A life-cycle argument has been presented to explain pharmacists' age-related differences at work.


Explore responses of pharmacists' wage-and-salary earnings in three age groups (younger than 40, 40–54 years, and 55 years plus) to labor input and human-capital variables.


A survey questionnaire was mailed to registered pharmacists in South Florida, USA. An earnings function was formulated and tested, using ordinary least squares, for each age group separately to compare the direction, magnitude, and statistical significance of each determinant on earnings. The covariates were number of hours worked, type of pharmacy degree, years of professional experience, gender, number of children, and whether the pharmacist had completed a residency and/or attained a specialty board certification.


The model showed better fit and statistical significance for practitioners under 40 and 55 years or older. The number of hours worked was the overwhelming determinant, but the magnitude of its influence was different for the three age groups. Human-capital indicators provided evidence in support of the life-cycle argument.


The wage-and-salary earnings of pharmacy practitioners were mediated by age group in their response to labor input and human-capital variables.

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