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The Health Gradient and Early Retirement: Evidence from the German Socio-economic Panel

  • Gisela Hostenkamp
  • Michael Stolpe

This paper examines the role of the health gradient ; the positive correlation between household income and health – in individual retirement behavior, using data from the German Socio-economic Panel (GSOEP). We first estimate agegroup-specific health gradients and find their slope increases with age, but declines among retired workers. We then estimate a variety of parametric and semi-parametric duration models and find that workers’ position relative to the agegroup-specific health gradient has about the same explanatory power as self-assessed health and income together. We argue our method promises better predictions of the long-term impact of policies affecting the health gradient on workers' timing of retirement amid population aging. Our findings also underline the importance of imperfect medical technology in reconciling the human capital theory of health demand with the observation of more rapid declines in health among less educated workers.

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File URL: https://www.ifw-members.ifw-kiel.de/publications/the-health-gradient-and-early-retirement-evidence-from-the-german-socio-economic-panel-1/kap1305.pdf
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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1305.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1305
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  13. Kathleen McGarry, 2002. "Health and Retirement: Do Changes in Health Affect Retirement Expectations?," NBER Working Papers 9317, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Axel Börsch-Supan & Hendrik Jürges, 2006. "Early Retirement, Social Security and Well-Being in Germany," NBER Working Papers 12303, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. Sikandar Siddiqui, 1997. "The impact of health on retirement behaviour: empirical evidence from West Germany," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(4), pages 425-438.
  17. repec:dgr:uvatin:20010010 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Muurinen, Jaana-Marja & Le Grand, Julian, 1985. "The economic analysis of inequalities in health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 20(10), pages 1029-1035, January.
  19. Andrew M. Jones & Eddy van Doorslaer & Teresa Bago d'Uva & Silvia Balia & Lynn Gambin & Cristina Hernández Quevedo & Xander Koolman & Nigel Rice, 2006. "Health and Wealth: Empirical Findings and Political Consequences," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7(s1), pages 93-112, 05.
  20. Simone Kohnz & Reinhold Schnabel, 2002. "Micro Modeling of Retirement Decisions in Germany," MEA discussion paper series 02020, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  21. Adams, Peter & Hurd, Michael D. & McFadden, Daniel & Merrill, Angela & Ribeiro, Tiago, 2003. "Healthy, wealthy, and wise? Tests for direct causal paths between health and socioeconomic status," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 3-56, January.
  22. Larsen, Mona & Datta Gupta, Nabanita, 2004. "The Impact of Health on Individual Retirement Plans: a Panel Analysis comparing Selfreported versus Diagnostic Measures," Working Papers 04-7, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
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