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

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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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    Cited by:

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    2. Eibich, Peter & Siedler, Thomas, 2020. "Retirement, intergenerational time transfers, and fertility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 124(C).
    3. 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.
    4. Garz, Marcel, 2018. "Retirement, consumption of political information, and political knowledge," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 109-119.
    5. Bouckaert, Nicolas & Gielen, Anne C. & Van Ourti, Tom, 2020. "It runs in the family – Influenza vaccination and spillover effects," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    6. Hannes Gropper & Jannika M John & Gorden Sudeck & Ansgar Thiel, 2020. "The impact of life events and transitions on physical activity: A scoping review," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 15(6), pages 1-24, June.
    7. 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.
    8. Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2017. "Social Insurance and Health," IZA Discussion Papers 10918, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Dang, Thang, 2017. "The Causal Effect of Retirement on Health Services Utilization: Evidence from Urban Vietnam," MPRA Paper 79693, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Feng, Jin & Li, Qin & Smith, James P., 2020. "Retirement effect on health status and health behaviors in urban China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 126(C).
    11. Nguyen, Ha Trong & Mitrou, Francis & Taylor, Catherine L. & Zubrick, Stephen R., 2020. "Does retirement lead to life satisfaction? Causal evidence from fixed effect instrumental variable models," GLO Discussion Paper Series 536, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    12. Pedron, Sara & Maier, Werner & Peters, Annette & Linkohr, Birgit & Meisinger, Christine & Rathmann, Wolfgang & Eibich, Peter & Schwettmann, Lars, 2020. "The effect of retirement on biomedical and behavioral risk factors for cardiovascular and metabolic disease," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 38(C).
    13. Martina Celidoni & Vincenzo Rebba, 2017. "Healthier lifestyles after retirement in Europe? Evidence from SHARE," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 18(7), pages 805-830, September.
    14. 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.
    15. Motegi, Hiroyuki & Nishimura, Yoshinori & Oikawa, Masato, 2020. "Retirement and health investment behaviors: An international comparison," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 16(C).
    16. Lei, Xiaoyan & Liu, Hong, 2018. "Gender difference in the impact of retirement on cognitive abilities: Evidence from urban China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 1425-1446.
    17. Schaap, Rosanne & de Wind, Astrid & Coenen, Pieter & Proper, Karin & Boot, Cécile, 2018. "The effects of exit from work on health across different socioeconomic groups: A systematic literature review," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 198(C), pages 36-45.
    18. Marco Bertoni & Stefania Maggi & Guglielmo Weber, 2018. "Work, retirement, and muscle strength loss in old age," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 115-128, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Physical activity; Retirement; Instrument variable;
    All these keywords.

    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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