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Health, Disability and Pathways to Retirement in Spain

  • Pilar García-Gómez
  • Sergi Jiménez-Martín
  • Judit Vall Castelló

In this paper we analyze the trends in labor force participation and transitions to benefit programs of older workers in relation to health trends as well as recent Social Security reforms. Our preliminary conclusions are pessimistic regarding the effect of health improvements on the labor market attachment of older workers since we show that despite the large improvements in the mortality rates among older individuals in Spain, the employment rates of individuals older than fifty-five remain lower than the ones observed in the late 1970s. Some caution should remain in our conclusions as the evidence on health trends is inconclusive. Regarding the effect of Social Security reforms, we find that both the 1997 and the 2002 reform decreased the stock into old-age benefits at the cost of an increased share of the participation into disability. Finally, we find that there was a significant increase in the outflow from employment into disability after the 2002 reform.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17048.

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Date of creation: May 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Health, disability and pathways into retirement in Spain (with Sergi Jiménez Martin and Judit Vall Castelló). In Social Security Programs around the World: Historical Trends in Mortality and Health, Employment, and Disability Insurance Participation and Reform. DA Wise, ed. University of Chicago Press. 2012
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17048
Note: AG
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  1. Tatiana Andreyeva & Pierre-Carl Michaud & Arthur van Soest, 2005. "Obesity and Health in Europeans Ages 50 and Above," Working Papers 331, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  2. Sergi Jiménez-Martín & José M. Labeaga & Cristina Vilaplana, 2006. "Award Errors and Permanent Disability Benefits in Spain," Working Papers 2006-18, FEDEA.
  3. David H. Autor & Mark G. Duggan, 2003. "The Rise In The Disability Rolls And The Decline In Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 157-205, February.
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