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Time to burn (calories)? The impact of retirement on physical activity among mature Americans

Author

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  • Kämpfen, Fabrice
  • Maurer, Jürgen

Abstract

Physical activity is crucial for maintaining and improving health, especially at advanced ages. While retirement increases the amount of time available for physical activity, there is only limited evidence regarding the causal effect of retirement on recommended levels of physical activity. Addressing this gap in the literature, we use data from the U.S. Health and Retirement Study to estimate the causal impact of retirement on meeting the federal government's 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Using official early and normal retirement ages as instruments for retirement, our causal IV analyses suggest significant positive effects of retirement on meeting the Guidelines. These effects are robust with regard to the treatment of unobserved individual-specific heterogeneity, the measurement of guideline compliance, the definition of retirement and respondents’ health insurance status. We also show that the effects of retirement on physical activity are larger for persons with higher levels of education and wealth.

Suggested Citation

  • Kämpfen, Fabrice & Maurer, Jürgen, 2016. "Time to burn (calories)? The impact of retirement on physical activity among mature Americans," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 91-102.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:45:y:2016:i:c:p:91-102
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2015.12.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dang, Thang, 2017. "The Causal Effect of Retirement on Health Services Utilization: Evidence from Urban Vietnam," MPRA Paper 79693, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Engl, Florian & Riedl, Arno & Weber, Roberto A., 2016. "Spillover Effects of Institutions on Cooperative Behavior, Preferences, and Beliefs," Research Memorandum 016, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    3. repec:eee:socmed:v:198:y:2018:i:c:p:36-45 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:poleco:v:53:y:2018:i:c:p:109-119 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Christian Dudel & Julian Schmied, 2019. "Pension adequacy standards: an empirical estimation strategy and results for the United States and Germany," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2019-003, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    6. Bertoni, Marco & Brunello, Giorgio & Mazzarella, Gianluca, 2018. "Does postponing minimum retirement age improve healthy behaviors before retirement? Evidence from middle-aged Italian workers," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 215-227.
    7. Dragone, Davide & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2017. "Non-separable time preferences, novelty consumption and body weight: Theory and evidence from the East German transition to capitalism," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 41-65.
    8. repec:eee:jcecon:v:46:y:2018:i:4:p:1425-1446 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2017. "Social Insurance and Health," IZA Discussion Papers 10918, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. repec:spr:eujhec:v:18:y:2017:i:7:d:10.1007_s10198-016-0828-8 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Physical activity; Retirement; Instrument variable;

    JEL classification:

    • C26 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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