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Health, Health Insurance, and Retirement: A Survey

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  • Eric French
  • John Bailey Jones

Abstract

The degree to which retirement decisions are driven by health is a key concern for both academics and policymakers. In this paper we survey the economic literature on the health-retirement link in developed countries. We describe the mechanisms through which health affects labor supply and discuss how they interact with public pensions and public health insurance. The historical evidence suggests that health is not the primary source of variation in retirement across countries and over time. Furthermore, declining health with age can only explain a small share of the decline in employment near retirement age. Health considerations nonetheless play an important role, especially in explaining cross-sectional variation in employment and other outcomes within countries. We review the mechanisms through which health affects retirement and discuss recent empirical analyses.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2017. "Health, Health Insurance, and Retirement: A Survey," Working Paper 17-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:17-03
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jones, John Bailey & Li, Yue, 2018. "The effects of collecting income taxes on Social Security benefits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 128-145.
    2. Kemptner, Daniel, 2019. "Health-related life cycle risks and public insurance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 227-245.
    3. Nolan, Anne & Barrett, Alan, 2018. "Working Beyond 65 in Ireland," IZA Discussion Papers 11664, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Jack Britton & Eric French, 2020. "Health and Employment amongst Older Workers," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(1), pages 221-250, March.
    5. Danilo Cavapozzi & Chiara Dal Bianco, "undated". "The effect of work disability on the intention to retire of older workers," Working Papers 2018:26, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".

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    Keywords

    disability; elderly; health; retirement; Social Security;
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