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Fatal Attraction? Access to Early Retirement and Mortality

  • Andreas Kuhn


  • Jean-Philipe Wuellrich
  • Josef Zweimüller

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.

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Paper provided by The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series NRN working papers with number 2010-08.

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Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2010_08
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NRN Labor Economics and the Welfare State, c/o Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, Altenbergerstr. 69, 4040 Linz

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