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The health gradient and early retirement: Evidence from the German Socio-economic Panel

Author

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  • Hostenkamp, Gisela
  • Stolpe, Michael

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Hostenkamp, Gisela & Stolpe, Michael, 2006. "The health gradient and early retirement: Evidence from the German Socio-economic Panel," Kiel Working Papers 1305, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkwp:1305
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/3946/1/kap1305.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Keith A. Bender & Steffen Habermalz, 2008. "Are There Differences in the Health- Socio-economic Status Relationship over the Life Cycle? Evidence from Germany," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 22(1), pages 107-125, March.
    2. Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1.
    3. Michaud, Pierre-Carl & van Soest, Arthur, 2008. "Health and wealth of elderly couples: Causality tests using dynamic panel data models," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1312-1325, September.
    4. 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, May.
    5. Bernard M.S. van Praag & B.E. Baarsma, 2000. "The Shadow Price of Aircraft Noise Nuisance," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-004/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    6. Kathleen McGarry, 2004. "Health and Retirement: Do Changes in Health Affect Retirement Expectations?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
    7. 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.
    8. Eddy van Doorslaer & Andrew M. Jones, 2004. "Income-related inequality in health and health care in the European Union," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 605-608.
    9. Peter Adams & Michael D. Hurd & Daniel L. McFadden & Angela Merrill & Tiago Ribeiro, 2004. "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise? Tests for Direct Causal Paths between Health and Socioeconomic Status," NBER Chapters,in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 415-526 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. repec:ran:wpaper:191 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. 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.
    12. James P. Smith, 1999. "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 145-166, Spring.
    13. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Hostenkamp, Gisela & Stolpe, Michael, 2008. "Optimal health and retirement policies amid population aging," Kiel Working Papers 1428, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Retirement behaviour; Duration analysis; Germany; Health gradient;

    JEL classification:

    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health

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