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The Mortality Effects of Retirement: Evidence from Social Security Eligibility at Age 62

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  • Maria D. Fitzpatrick
  • Timothy J. Moore

Abstract

Social Security eligibility begins at age 62, and approximately one third of Americans immediately claim benefits upon reaching that age. We study the link between retirement and health by examining whether mortality changes discontinuously at this threshold. 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 overall male mortality immediately after age 62. The rise in mortality is closely connected to changes in labor force participation, implying that mortality increases by approximately 20 percent among those who stop working because Social Security is available.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria D. Fitzpatrick & Timothy J. Moore, 2016. "The Mortality Effects of Retirement: Evidence from Social Security Eligibility at Age 62," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2016-7, Center for Retirement Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:crr:crrwps:wp2016-7
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    More about this item

    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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