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Healthier lifestyles after retirement in Europe? Evidence from SHARE

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  • Martina Celidoni

    (University of Padua)

  • Vincenzo Rebba

    (University of Padua)

Abstract

This paper investigates changes in health behaviours upon retirement, using data drawn from the Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe. By exploiting changes in eligibility rules for early and statutory retirement, we identify the causal effect of retiring from work on smoking, alcohol drinking, engagement in physical activity and visits to the general practitioner or specialist. We provide evidence about individual heterogeneous effects related to gender, education, net wealth, early-life conditions and job characteristics. Our main results––obtained using fixed-effect two-stage least squares––show that changes in health behaviours occur upon retirement and may be a key mechanism through which the latter affects health. In particular, the probability of not practicing any physical activity decreases significantly after retirement, and this effect is stronger for individuals with higher education. We also find that different frameworks of European health care systems (i.e. countries with or without a gate-keeping system to regulate the access to specialist services) matter in shaping individuals’ health behaviours after retirement. Our findings provide important information for the design of policies aiming to promote healthy lifestyles in later life, by identifying those who are potential target individuals and which factors may affect their behaviour. Our results also suggest the importance of policies promoting healthy lifestyles well before the end of the working life in order to anticipate the benefits deriving from individuals’ health investments.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:eujhec:v:18:y:2017:i:7:d:10.1007_s10198-016-0828-8
    DOI: 10.1007/s10198-016-0828-8
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    2. Claudio Lucifora & Daria Vigani, 2018. "Health care utilization at retirement: The role of the opportunity cost of time," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(12), pages 2030-2050, December.
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    5. Matteo Picchio & Jan C. van Ours, 2020. "Mental Health Effects of Retirement," De Economist, Springer, vol. 168(3), pages 419-452, September.
    6. Eve Caroli & Claudio Lucifora & Daria Vigani, 2016. "Is there a Retirement-Health Care utilization puzzle? Evidence from SHARE data in Europe," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def049, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    7. Chiara Ardito & Roberto Leombruni & David Blane & Angelo d’Errico, 2020. "To Work or Not to Work? The Effect of Higher Pension Age on Cardiovascular Health," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 399-434, July.
    8. Antoine Bozio & Clémentine Garrouste & Elsa Perdrix, 2021. "Impact of later retirement on mortality: Evidence from France," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(5), pages 1178-1199, May.
    9. 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).
    10. Steve Briand, 2020. "Beyond the direct impact of retirement: coordination by couples in preventive and risky behaviors," Working Papers hal-02467440, HAL.
    11. 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.
    12. Pasqualini, M. & Lanari, D. & Minelli, L. & Pieroni, L. & Salmasi, L., 2017. "Health and income inequalities in Europe: What is the role of circumstances?," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 164-173.
    13. Bauer, Ann Barbara & Eichenberger, Reiner, 2021. "Worsening workers' health by lowering retirement age: The malign consequences of a benign reform," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 18(C).
    14. 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).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Retirement; Health behaviour; Fixed effects; Instrumental variables; SHARE;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • 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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