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The Effect on Mental Health of Retiring During the Economic Crisis

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  • Michele Belloni
  • Elena Meschi
  • Giacomo Pasini

Abstract

This paper investigates the causal impact of retirement on late‐life mental health, a growing concern for public health, because major depressive disorders are the second leading cause of disability. We shed light on the role of economic conditions in shaping the effect of retirement on mental health by exploiting time and regional variation in the severity of the economic crisis across 10 European countries during 2004–2013. We use data from four waves of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe and address the potential endogeneity of the retirement decision to mental health by applying a fixed‐effects instrumental variables approach. The results indicate that retirement improves the mental health of men but not that of women. This effect is stronger for blue‐collar men working in regions that have been severely hit by the economic crisis. These findings may be explained by the worsening of working conditions and the rise in job insecurity stemming from the economic downturn: under these circumstances, exit from the labour force is perceived as a relief. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Michele Belloni & Elena Meschi & Giacomo Pasini, 2016. "The Effect on Mental Health of Retiring During the Economic Crisis," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(S2), pages 126-140, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:25:y:2016:i:s2:p:126-140
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.3377
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Carrino, L.; & Nafilyan, V.; & Avendaño Pabon, M.;, 2019. "Should I Care or Should I Work? The Impact of Working in Older Age on Caregiving," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 19/23, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    2. Matteo Picchio & Jan C. van Ours, 2020. "Mental Health Effects of Retirement," De Economist, Springer, vol. 168(3), pages 419-452, September.
    3. Yuxi Wang & Giovanni Fattore, 0. "The impact of the great economic crisis on mental health care in Italy," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 0, pages 1-14.
    4. Danilo Cavapozzi & Chiara Dal Bianco, 2020. "Does retirement decrease the familiarity with ICT of older individuals?," Working Papers 2020:01, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    5. 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.
    6. Ludovico Carrino & Karen Glaser & Mauricio Avendano, 2020. "Later retirement, job strain, and health: Evidence from the new State Pension age in the United Kingdom," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(8), pages 891-912, August.
    7. Bertoni, Marco & Brunello, Giorgio, 2017. "Pappa Ante Portas: The effect of the husband's retirement on the wife's mental health in Japan," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 135-142.
    8. Carrino, Ludovico & Glaser, Karen & Avendano, Mauricio, 2018. "Later Pension, Poorer Health? Evidence from the New State Pension Age in the UK," MPRA Paper 87575, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Dino Rizzi & Carlo Simionato & Francesca Zantomio, 2019. "Older People Health and Access to Healthcare: A Retrospective Look at Inequality Dynamics over the Past Decade," Politica economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 335-366.
    10. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy

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