, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 177-201
Date: 31 Jul 2007

Quit Your Job and Get Healthier? The Effect of Retirement on Health

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Abstract

Although the health effect of retirement has important policy implications, few economists have researched the topic. This paper utilizes longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study and instruments retirement status using exogenous variation in public and private pensions. Subjective health change models indicate retirement preserves the health of both men and women, although insignificant results for objective health change models suggest the preservation may be more perceived than real. The same pattern of results is found using continuous measures of annual hours. At the very least, the results give strong evidence against the anecdotal idea that retirement harms health.