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Retirement effect on health status and health behaviors in urban China

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  • Feng, Jin
  • Li, Qin
  • Smith, James P.

Abstract

This paper analyzes the causal impact of retirement in China on Body Mass Index (BMI) and weight, which are a good gauge of the risk for some diseases. Many middle income developing countries are aging very rapidly and may have to adjust the retirement age to have financially feasible government budgets. It is important to know and understand any plausible health consequences of raising the retirement age in developing countries, and which sub-populations within these countries may be most affected. By using 2011, 2013 and 2015 waves of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS), our identification strategy uses variation in China’s mandatory retirement age with a fuzzy discontinuity design to examine an exogenous shock to retirement behavior. Our study finds that retirement will increase weight and BMI among men. This effect is much larger for men with low education. The channel may be that men with low education drink more and take less vigorous exercises after they get retired. Retirement does not affect weight and BMI for women. These effects are robust with different definitions of retirement, narrow retirement bandwidth for samples as well as dropping samples with rural Hukou.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:126:y:2020:i:c:s0305750x1930350x
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2019.104702
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Nagano, Hitoshi & Puppim de Oliveira, Jose A. & Barros, Allan Kardec & Costa Junior, Altair da Silva, 2020. "The ‘Heart Kuznets Curve’? Understanding the relations between economic development and cardiac conditions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 132(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Retirement; Overweight; Mandatory retirement age; Channel;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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