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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.

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  • 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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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social security; Retirement; Labor force participation; Mortality; Health; Economic determinants of health;
    All these keywords.

    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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