IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Work ‘til You Drop: Short- and Longer-Term Health Effects of Retirement in Europe

Declining fertility rates and increasing life expectancy necessitate a higher labor participation rate among older people in order to sustain pension systems and boost economic growth. At the same time, researchers have only recently begun to pay attention to the health effects of a longer working life, with rather mixed results thus far. Utilizing panel data from eleven European countries, and two distinct identification strategies to deal with endogeneity, we provide new evidence of the health effects of retirement.In contrast to prior research, we analyze both the impact of being retired and the effect of spending longer time in retirement. Using spouses’ characteristics as instruments, while taking precautions to ensure validity, we find a robust, negative impact of being retired and spending longer time in retirement on selfassessed, general, mental and physical health.In addition, we show that the impact on selfassessed health remains similar in models using instruments from previous research while also including individual- and time-fixed effects to remove time-invariant unobserved heterogeneity between individuals as well as common health shocks.Overall, the results suggest that this innovation and the fact that we take lagged effects into account explain the differences in comparison to prior multi-country research using these instruments. While the short-term health impact of retirement in Europe remains uncertain, the medium- to long-term effects appear to be negative and economically large.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 928.

in new window

Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: 27 Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0928
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden

Phone: +46 8 665 4500
Fax: +46 8 665 4599
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Norma B. Coe & Hans‐Martin von Gaudecker & Maarten Lindeboom & Jürgen Maurer, 2012. "The Effect Of Retirement On Cognitive Functioning," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(8), pages 913-927, 08.
  2. Grip Andries de & Dupuy Arnaud & Jolles Jelle & Boxtel Martin van, 2012. "Retirement and cognitive development: are the retired really inactive?," ROA Research Memorandum 003, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  3. Mazzonna, Fabrizio & Peracchi, Franco, 2012. "Ageing, cognitive abilities and retirement," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 691-710.
  4. Bonsang, Eric & Klein, Tobias J., 2012. "Retirement and subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 311-329.
  5. Bonsang, Eric & Adam, Stéphane & Perelman, Sergio, 2012. "Does retirement affect cognitive functioning?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 490-501.
  6. García-Gómeza, P & Jones, A.M & Rice, N, 2008. "Health effects on labour market exits and entries," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 08/03, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  7. Kuhn, Andreas & Wuellrich, Jean-Philippe & Zweimüller, Josef, 2010. "Fatal Attraction? Access to Early Retirement and Mortality," CEPR Discussion Papers 8024, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. repec:dau:papers:123456789/12129 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. repec:pri:indrel:455 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Dhaval Dave & Inas Rashad & Jasmina Spasojevic, 2006. "The Effects of Retirement on Physical and Mental Health Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 12123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Raquel Fonseca & Yuhui Zheng, 2011. "The Effect of Education on Health: Cross-Country Evidence," Working Papers 864, RAND Corporation.
  12. Michaud, P.C. & van Soest, A.H.O., 2008. "Health and wealth of elderly couples : Causality tests using dynamic panel data models," Other publications TiSEM fdba31e1-0443-4f73-b4cc-b, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  13. Hanel, Barbara, 2012. "The effect of disability pension incentives on early retirement decisions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 595-607.
  14. Norma B. Coe & Gema Zamarro, 2008. "Retirement Effects on Health in Europe," Working Papers 588, RAND Corporation.
  15. Barbara Hanel, 2010. "Disability Pensions and Labor Supply," Working Papers 086, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
  16. Johnston, David W. & Lee, Wang-Sheng, 2009. "Retiring to the good life? The short-term effects of retirement on health," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 8-11, April.
  17. repec:fth:prinin:455 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. John Bound & Timothy Waidmann, 2007. "Estimating the Health Effects of Retirements," Working Papers wp168, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  19. Stancanelli, Elena G. F., 2012. "Spouses' Retirement and Hours Outcomes: Evidence from Twofold Regression Discontinuity with Differences-in-Differences," IZA Discussion Papers 6791, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. Montizaan, Raymond & Cörvers, Frank & de Grip, Andries, 2009. "The Effects of Pension Rights and Retirement Age on Training Participation: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 4462, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. Fe, Eduardo & Hollingsworth, Bruce, 2012. "Estimating the eect of retirement on mental health via panel discontinuity designs," MPRA Paper 38162, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  22. Lucas Ronconi & Timothy T. Brown & Richard M. Scheffler, 2012. "Social capital and self‐rated health in Argentina," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(2), pages 201-208, 02.
  23. Grip Andries de & Lindeboom Maarten & Montizaan Raymond, 2009. "Dreams: The Effects of Changing the Pension System Late in the Game," Research Memorandum 043, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  24. Hernaes, Erik & Markussen, Simen & Piggott, John & Vestad, Ola, 2012. "Does Retirement Age Impact Mortality?," Memorandum 19/2012, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  25. Stefanie Behncke, 2012. "Does retirement trigger ill health?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(3), pages 282-300, 03.
  26. Heather L. Koball & Emily Moiduddin & Jamila Henderson & Brian Goesling & Melanie Besculides, 2010. "What Do We Know About the Link Between Marriage and Health?," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 5aa5d9b9826649f791b5324af, Mathematica Policy Research.
  27. Rob Euwals & Elisabetta Trevisan, 2011. "Early Retirement and Financial Incentives: Differences Between High and Low Wage Earners," CPB Discussion Paper 195, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  28. Eugenio Zucchelli & Andrew M. Jones & Nigel Rice & Anthony Harris, 2010. "The Effects of Health Shocks on labour Market Exits: Evidence from the HILDA Survey," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 13(2), pages 191-218.
  29. Michael Insler, 2013. "The Health Consequences of Retirement," Departmental Working Papers 43, United States Naval Academy Department of Economics.
  30. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," Working Papers 834, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  31. Beatrice Scheubel & Daniel Schunk & Joachim Winter, 2009. "Don't Raise the Retirement Age! An Experiment on Opposition to Pension Reforms and East-West Differences in Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 2752, CESifo Group Munich.
  32. Susann Rohwedder & Robert J. Willis, 2010. "Mental Retirement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 119-38, Winter.
  33. Sukyung Chung & Marisa E. Domino & Sally C. Stearns, 2009. "The Effect of Retirement on Weight," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 64(5), pages 656-665.
  34. Soong-Nang Jang & Sung-Il Cho & Jiyeun Chang & Kachung Boo & Hyun-Goo Shin & Hyejung Lee & Lisa F. Berkman, 2009. "Employment Status and Depressive Symptoms in Koreans: Results From a Baseline Survey of the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 64(5), pages 677-683.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0928. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Elisabeth Gustafsson)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.