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The Social Costs of Health-related Early Retirement in Germany: Evidence from the German Socio-economic Panel

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  • Gisela Hostenkamp
  • Michael Stolpe

Abstract

This study investigates the role of stratification of health and income in the social cost of health-related early retirement, as evidenced in the German Socio-economic Panel (GSOEP). We interpret early retirement as a mechanism to limit work-related declines in health that allows poorer and less healthy workers to maximize the total discounted value of annuities received from Germany’s pay-as-you-go pension system. Investments in new medical technology and better access to existing health services may help to curb the need for early retirement and thus improve efficiency, especially amid population ageing. To value the potential gains, we calibrate an intertemporal model based on ex post predictions from stratified duration regressions for individual retirement timing. We conclude that eliminating the correlation between income and health decline would delay the average age of retirement by approximately half a year, while keeping all workers in the highest of five categories of self assessed health would yield a further delay of up to three years. Had this scenario been realized during our 1992–2005 sample period, we estimate the social costs of early retirement would have been more than 20 percent lower, even without counting the direct social benefits from better health

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File URL: http://www.ifw-members.ifw-kiel.de/publications/the-social-costs-of-health-related-early-retirement-in-germany-evidence-from-the-german-socio-economic-panel/KWP%201415%20Hostenkamp-Stolpe.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1415.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1415

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Keywords: Retirement timing; Health inequality; Social costs; Medical technology; Calibration;

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References

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  1. Bommier, Antoine & Stecklov, Guy, 2002. "Defining health inequality: why Rawls succeeds where social welfare theory fails," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 497-513, May.
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  11. Johannesson, Magnus & Johansson, Per-Olov, 1997. "Quality of life and the WTP for an increased life expectancy at an advanced age," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 219-228, August.
  12. Sikandar Siddiqui, 1997. "The impact of health on retirement behaviour: empirical evidence from West Germany," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(4), pages 425-438.
  13. Anne Case & Angus S. Deaton, 2005. "Broken Down by Work and Sex: How Our Health Declines," NBER Chapters, in: Analyses in the Economics of Aging, pages 185-212 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Krupnick, Alan & Cropper, Maureen & Alberini, Anna & Heintzelman, Martin & Simon, Nathalie & O'Brien, Bernie & Goeree, Ron, 2000. "Age, Health, and the Willingness to Pay for Mortality Risk Reductions: A Contingent Valuation Survey of Ontario Residents," Discussion Papers dp-00-37, Resources For the Future.
  15. Larsen, Mona & Datta Gupta, Nabanita, 2004. "The Impact of Health on Individual Retirement Plans: a Panel Analysis comparing Selfreported versus Diagnostic Measures," Working Papers 04-7, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  16. Muurinen, Jaana-Marja & Le Grand, Julian, 1985. "The economic analysis of inequalities in health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 20(10), pages 1029-1035, January.
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