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Sick of work or too sick to work? Evidence on health shocks and early retirement from the BHPS

  • Nigel Rice
  • Jennifer Roberts


    (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)

  • Andrew M. Jones

We follow individuals as they retire using discrete-time hazard models applied to a stock sample from 12 waves of the British Household Panel Survey. Results confirm that health shocks are a determinant of retirement age and are quantitatively more important than pension entitlement. This is the case for both men and women and is observed for both a measure of health limitations and a measure of latent health status obtained from a generalized ordered probit model. Further, our results provide evidence that, for women, the health status of their partner impacts on their retirement decisions; an effect that is not evident for men.

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Paper provided by The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2007002.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2007
Date of revision: Jan 2007
Handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2007002
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  1. Disney, Richard & Emmerson, Carl & Wakefield, Matthew, 2006. "Ill health and retirement in Britain: A panel data-based analysis," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 621-649, July.
  2. Michaud, P.C., 2003. "Joint Labour Supply Dynamics of Older Couples," Discussion Paper 2003-69, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Jiménez-Martín, Sergi & Labeaga, José M. & Martínez Granado, Maite, 1999. "Health status and retirement decisions for older European couples," IRISS Working Paper Series 1999-01, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
  4. Jenkins, Stephen P, 1995. "Easy Estimation Methods for Discrete-Time Duration Models," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 129-38, February.
  5. Lindeboom, Maarten & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2004. "Cut-Point Shift and Index Shift in Self-Reported Health," IZA Discussion Papers 1286, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Griliches, Zvi, 1974. "Errors in Variables and Other Unobservables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(6), pages 971-98, November.
  7. John Bound, 1991. "Self-Reported Versus Objective Measures of Health in Retirement Models," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(1), pages 106-138.
  8. Verbeek, M. & Nijman, T., 1990. "Testing For Selectivity Bias In Panel Data Models," Papers 9018, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  9. Meghir, Costas & Whitehouse, Edward, 1997. "Labour market transitions and retirement of men in the UK," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 327-354, August.
  10. Blau, David M. & Riphahn, Regina T., 1998. "Labor Force Transitions of Older Married Couples in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 5, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Andrew M Jones & Xander Koolman & Nigel Rice, 2005. "Health-related non-response in the BHPS and ECHP: using inverse probability weighted estimators in nonlinear models," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 05/05, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  12. Gloria J. Bazzoli, 1985. "The Early Retirement Decision: New Empirical Evidence on the Influence of Health," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(2), pages 214-234.
  13. Bruce D. Meyer, 1988. "Unemployment Insurance And Unemployment Spells," NBER Working Papers 2546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Riphahn, Regina T., 1998. "Income and Employment Effects of Health Shocks - A Test Case for the German Welfare State," IZA Discussion Papers 10, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Kathryn H. Anderson & Richard V. Burkhauser, 1985. "The Retirement-Health Nexus: A New Measure of an Old Puzzle," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(3), pages 315-330.
  16. Hurd, Michael D, 1990. "Research on the Elderly: Economic Status, Retirement, and Consumption and Saving," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 565-637, June.
  17. Lumsdaine, Robin L. & Mitchell, Olivia S., 1999. "New developments in the economic analysis of retirement," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 49, pages 3261-3307 Elsevier.
  18. Richard Disney & Costas Meghir & Edward Whitehouse, 1994. "Retirement behaviour in Britain," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 15(1), pages 24-43, February.
  19. Narendranathan, W & Stewart, Mark B, 1993. "How Does the Benefit Effect Vary as Unemployment Spells Lengthen?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(4), pages 361-81, Oct.-Dec..
  20. John Bound & Michael Schoenbaum & Todd R. Stinebrickner & Timothy Waidmann, 1998. "The Dynamic Effects of Health on the Labor Force Transitions of Older Workers," NBER Working Papers 6777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Paul Contoyannis & Andrew M. Jones & Nigel Rice, 2004. "The dynamics of health in the British Household Panel Survey," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 473-503.
  22. Richard Blundell & Costas Meghir & Sarah Smith, 2002. "Pension Incentives and the Pattern of Early Retirement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C153-C170, March.
  23. Nijman, T.E. & Verbeek, M.J.C.M., 1992. "Testing for selectivity in panel data models," Other publications TiSEM 7ec34a6c-1d84-4052-971c-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
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