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The Causal Effect of Retirement on Mortality: Evidence from Targeted Incentives to Retire Early


  • Bloemen, Hans

    () (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Hochguertel, Stefan

    () (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Zweerink, Jochem

    () (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)


This paper identifies and estimates the impact of early retirement on the probability to die within five years, using administrative micro panel data covering the entire population of the Netherlands. Among the older workers we focus on, a group of civil servants became eligible for retirement earlier than expected during a short time window. This exogenous policy change is used to instrument the retirement choice in a model that explains the probability to die within five years. Exploiting the panel structure of our data, we allow for unobserved heterogeneity by way of individual fixed effects in modeling the retirement choice and the probability to die. We find for men that early retirement, induced by the temporary decrease in the age of eligibility for retirement benefits, decreased the probability to die within five years by 2.5 percentage points. This is a strong effect. We find that our results are robust to several specification changes.

Suggested Citation

  • Bloemen, Hans & Hochguertel, Stefan & Zweerink, Jochem, 2013. "The Causal Effect of Retirement on Mortality: Evidence from Targeted Incentives to Retire Early," IZA Discussion Papers 7570, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7570

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Samuel Bentolila & Juan Dolado & Juan Jimeno, 2012. "Reforming an insider-outsider labor market: the Spanish experience," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-29, December.
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    Blog mentions

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    1. Alastair Canaway’s journal round-up for 20th March 2017
      by captaincanaway in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2017-03-20 17:00:05


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    Cited by:

    1. Adriaan Kalwij & Klaas de Vos & Arie Kapteyn, 2014. "Health, Disability Insurance, and Labor Force Exit of Older Workers in the Netherlands," NBER Chapters,in: Social Security Programs and Retirement Around the World: Disability Insurance Programs and Retirement, pages 211-249 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hagen, Johannes, 2016. "What are the Health effects of postponing retirement? An instrumental variable approach," Working Paper Series 2016:11, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    3. Peter Eibich, 2014. "Understanding the Effect of Retirement on Health Using Regression Discontinuity Design," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 669, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    4. Hernán Bejarano & Hillard Kaplan & Stephen Rassenti, 2014. "Effects of Retirement and Lifetime Earnings Profile on Health Investment," Working Papers 14-21, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    5. Hallberg, Daniel & Johansson, Per & Josephson, Malin, 2014. "Early retirement and post retirement health," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2014:5, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    6. Eibich, Peter, 2015. "Understanding the effect of retirement on health: Mechanisms and heterogeneity," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 1-12.
    7. Hallberg, Daniel & Johansson, Per & Josephson, Malin, 2015. "Is an early retirement offer good for your health? Quasi-experimental evidence from the army," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 274-285.
    8. Adriaan Kalwij & Arie Kapteyn & Klaas de Vos, 2016. "Work Capacity at Older Ages in the Netherlands," NBER Chapters,in: Social Security Programs and Retirement Around the World: The Capacity to Work at Older Ages, pages 243-267 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Peter Eibich, 2014. "Die gesundheitlichen Folgen des Renteneintritts," DIW Roundup: Politik im Fokus 48, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    10. repec:spr:jopoec:v:31:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s00148-017-0664-x is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    instruments; retirement; mortality;

    JEL classification:

    • C26 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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