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Gaining weight through retirement ? Results from the SHARE survey

  • Godard, Mathilde

This paper estimates the causal impact of retirement among the 50-69 year-old on Body Mass Index (BMI), the probability of being either overweight or obese and the probability of being obese. Based on the 2004, 2006 and 2010-11 waves of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), our identification strategy exploits the European variation in Early Retirement Ages (ERAs) and the stepwise increase in ERAs in Austria and Italy between 2004 and 2011 to produce an exogeneous shock in retirement behaviour. Our results show that retirement induced by discontinuous incentives in early retirement schemes causes a 13 percentage point increase in the probability of being obese among men within a two to four-year period. Additional results show that this effect is driven by men having retired from strenuous jobs and who were already at risk of obesity. No effects are found among women.

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Paper provided by Paris Dauphine University in its series Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine with number 123456789/11535.

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Date of creation: 2014
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Document de travail du Legos, 2014
Handle: RePEc:dau:papers:123456789/11535
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.dauphine.fr/en/welcome.html

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  1. John Cawley & Richard V. Burkhauser, 2006. "Beyond BMI: The Value of More Accurate Measures of Fatness and Obesity in Social Science Research," NBER Working Papers 12291, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Susann Rohwedder & Robert J. Willis, 2010. "Mental Retirement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 119-38, Winter.
  3. Marcus, Jan, 2014. "Does Job Loss Make You Smoke and Gain Weight?," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 626-648.
  4. Anderson, Lisa R. & Mellor, Jennifer M., 2008. "Predicting health behaviors with an experimental measure of risk preference," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1260-1274, September.
  5. John Cawley & John Moran & Kosali Simon, 2010. "The impact of income on the weight of elderly Americans," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(8), pages 979-993, August.
  6. Coe, Norma B. & Lindeboom, Maarten, 2008. "Does Retirement Kill You? Evidence from Early Retirement Windows," IZA Discussion Papers 3817, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Maximilian D. Schmeiser, 2009. "Expanding wallets and waistlines: the impact of family income on the BMI of women and men eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(11), pages 1277-1294.
  8. Böckerman, Petri & Johansson, Edvard & Jousilahti, Pekka & Uutela, Antti, 2008. "The physical strenuousness of work is slightly associated with an upward trend in the BMI," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(6), pages 1346-1355, March.
  9. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  10. Anna Sanz De Galdeano, 2005. "The Obesity Epidemic in Europe," CSEF Working Papers 143, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  11. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
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  13. repec:dgr:kubcen:200893 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Kerwin Kofi Charles, 2002. "Is Retirement Depressing?: Labor Force Inactivity and Psychological Well-Being in Later Life," NBER Working Papers 9033, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Smith, Patricia K. & Bogin, Barry & Bishai, David, 2005. "Are time preference and body mass index associated?: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 259-270, July.
  16. Coe, Norma B. & Zamarro, Gema, 2011. "Retirement effects on health in Europe," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 77-86, January.
  17. Stefanie Behncke, 2012. "Does retirement trigger ill health?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(3), pages 282-300, 03.
  18. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub99-1, October.
  19. Morris, Stephen, 2006. "Body mass index and occupational attainment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 347-364, March.
  20. Ikeda, Shinsuke & Kang, Myong-Il & Ohtake, Fumio, 2010. "Hyperbolic discounting, the sign effect, and the body mass index," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 268-284, March.
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