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Fatal Attraction? Access to Early Retirement and Mortality

Author

Listed:
  • Kuhn, Andreas

    (Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training)

  • Wuellrich, Jean-Philippe

    (University of Zurich)

  • Zweimüller, Josef

    (University of Zurich)

Abstract

We estimate the causal effect of early retirement on mortality for blue-collar workers. To overcome the problem of endogenous selection, we exploit an exogenous change in unemployment insurance rules in Austria that allowed workers in eligible regions to withdraw from the workforce up to 3.5 years earlier than those in non-eligible regions. For males, instrumental-variable estimates show a significant 2.4 percentage points (about 13%) increase in the probability of dying before age 67. We do not find any adverse effect of early retirement on mortality for females. Death causes indicate a significantly higher incidence of cardiovascular disorders among eligible workers, suggesting that changes in health-related behavior explain increased mortality among male early retirees.

Suggested Citation

  • Kuhn, Andreas & Wuellrich, Jean-Philippe & Zweimüller, Josef, 2010. "Fatal Attraction? Access to Early Retirement and Mortality," IZA Discussion Papers 5160, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5160
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    early retirement; mortality; premature death; health behavior; endogeneity; instrumental variable;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • 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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