Does Retirement Improve Health Outcomes of Older Individuals? Comparison Between Retiring and Remaining Employed.

Monday, 11 July 2016: 11:09
Location: Hörsaal BIG 1 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Javiera CARTAGENA FARIAS, National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), United Kingdom
Sergio SALIS, NatCen for Social Research, United Kingdom
Does retirement improve health outcomes of older individuals? Comparison between retiring and remaining employed.

The impact of health status on retirement decisions has been widely studied, there has been less attention focussed on researching the effect of retirement on health . Variation in the relationship between retirement and health outcomes and socio-economic group in particular has been under researched and remains a key gap in evidence.

Three international harmonised longitudinal data sets, the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement (SHARE) and the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) are used to compare health and wellbeing outcomes of individuals following retirement compared to ‘matched’ individuals who remain employed. Propensity Score Matching (PSM) techniques are used together with the Difference-in-Difference methodology to control for unobservable characteristics of individuals and time fixed effects.

Results are presented by age group (those up to and those over the State Pension age) and by socio-economic status and type of occupation. In addition, differences between countries are included, understanding not only individual characteristics but also country-level factors, as national pension system or working practices, likely have a simultaneous effect on health and retirement decisions. The findings have implications for policy – the impetus toward extending working lives and delayed retirement evident across the EU, US and beyond, may be associated with quite distinct consequences for different socio-economic groups.