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Collateral effects of a pension reform in France

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  • Helene Blake;
  • Clementine Garrouste
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    Abstract

    How does the retirement age affect the physical and mental health of seniors? We identify this effect based on the 1993 reform of the French pension system, which was heterogeneously introduced among the population. The French government gradually increased the incentive to work using two tools: the contribution period required for entitlement to a full pension and the number of reference earning years taken to calculate pensions. This created heterogeneity of incentives to work among the population. We use a unique database on health and employment in France in 1999 and 2005, when the cohorts affected by the reform started to retire. Taking the reform as a tool to filter out the potential influence of health on employment choices, we show that retirement improves physical and social health. The more physically impacted are the low-educated individuals. Subsequently, a difference-indifferences approach among the working population, with the control group comprising public sector employees (not concerned by the 1993 reform), finds that the people more affected by the reform, and hence with a stronger incentive to work, were those posting less of an improvement and even a deterioration in their health between 1999 and 2005.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York in its series Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers with number 12/16.

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    Date of creation: Jul 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:12/16

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    Postal: HEDG/HERC, Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom
    Phone: (0)1904 323776
    Fax: (0)1904 323759
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    Web page: http://www.york.ac.uk/economics/postgrad/herc/hedg/
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    1. Didier Blanchet & Thierry Debrand, 2008. "The sooner, the better? Analyzing preferences for early retirement in European countries," Working Papers DT13, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Jul 2008.
    2. Susann Rohwedder & Robert J. Willis, 2010. "Mental Retirement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 119-38, Winter.
    3. Norma B. Coe & Gema Zamarro, 2008. "Retirement Effects on Health in Europe," Working Papers 588, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
    4. Coe, N.B. & Lindeboom, M., 2008. "Does Retirement Kill You? Evidence from Early Retirement Windows," Discussion Paper 2008-93, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    5. Pagan, Ricardo, 2011. "Ageing and disability: Job satisfaction differentials across Europe," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 206-215, January.
    6. Adriaan Kalwij & Frederic Vermeulen, 2008. "Health and labour force participation of older people in Europe: What do objective health indicators add to the analysis?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(5), pages 619-638.
    7. Sirven, Nicolas & Debrand, Thierry, 2008. "Social participation and healthy ageing: An international comparison using SHARE data," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(12), pages 2017-2026, December.
    8. Andries De Grip & Maarten Lindeboom & Raymond Montizaan, 2012. "Shattered Dreams: The Effects of Changing the Pension System Late in the Game," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(559), pages 1-25, 03.
    9. Didier Blanchet & Paul Dourgnon & Anne Laferrère & Thierry Debrand, 2007. "Santé, vieillissement et retraite en Europe," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 403(1), pages 3-18.
    10. John Bound & Timothy Waidmann, 2007. "Estimating the Health Effects of Retirements," Working Papers wp168, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
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