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The mortality effects of retirement: Evidence from Social Security eligibility at age 62

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  • Fitzpatrick, Maria D.
  • Moore, Timothy J.

Abstract

Social Security eligibility begins at age 62, and approximately one third of Americans immediately claim at that age. We examine whether age 62 is associated with a discontinuous change in aggregate mortality, a key measure of population health. Using mortality data that covers the entire U.S. population and includes exact dates of birth and death, we document a robust two percent increase in male mortality immediately after age 62. The change in female mortality is smaller and imprecisely estimated. Additional analysis suggests that the increase in male mortality is connected to retirement from the labor force and associated lifestyle changes.

Suggested Citation

  • Fitzpatrick, Maria D. & Moore, Timothy J., 2018. "The mortality effects of retirement: Evidence from Social Security eligibility at age 62," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 121-137.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:157:y:2018:i:c:p:121-137
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2017.12.001
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    1. repec:pal:genrir:v:43:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1057_s10713-018-0027-x is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2017. "Social Insurance and Health," IZA Discussion Papers 10918, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Andreas Kuhn & Stefan Staubli & Jean-Philippe Wuellrich & Josef Zweimüller, 2018. "Fatal Attraction? Extended Unemployment Benefits, Labor Force Exits, and Mortality," NBER Working Papers 25124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. repec:iza:izawol:journl:y:2018:n:430 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:jhecon:v:65:y:2019:i:c:p:133-152 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Kuusi, Tero & Martikainen, Pekka & Valkonen, Tarmo, 2019. "The Influence of Old-age Retirement on Health: Causal Evidence from the Finnish Register Data," ETLA Working Papers 67, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    7. Courtney C. Coile & Mark G. Duggan, 2019. "When Labor's Lost: Health, Family Life, Incarceration, and Education in a Time of Declining Economic Opportunity for Low-Skilled Men," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 191-210, Spring.
    8. Giesecke, Matthias, 2019. "The retirement mortality puzzle: Evidence from a regression discontinuity design," Ruhr Economic Papers 800, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    9. Antoine Bozio & Clémentine Garrouste & Elsa Perdrix, 2019. "Impact of later retirement on mortality: Evidence from France," PSE Working Papers halshs-02019046, HAL.
    10. repec:kap:geneva:v:43:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1057_s10713-018-0027-x is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Jäger, Philipp, 2019. "The introduction of social pensions and elderly mortality: Evidence 1870-1939," Ruhr Economic Papers 808, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    12. repec:eee:jhecon:v:57:y:2018:i:c:p:45-59 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social security; Retirement; Labor force participation; Mortality; Health; Economic determinants of health;

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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