Exiting the labour market: how? Different impacts on health

Gustavo De Santis, University of Florence
Elena Pirani, Florence University
Francesca Zanasi, Florence University

Despite a growing body of research, the effects of retirement on health are not yet very clear. The purpose of this study is to clarify some of the main issues. Relying on data from the longitudinal Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (2004-2015), and adopting a propensity score matching approach, we try to assess the role played by the path out of the labour market (formal retirement vs. unemployment or family reasons), accounting for individual heterogeneity. The distinction proves relevant: while health does not change significantly for those who formally retire, it worsens considerably for those who leave the labour market for family reasons or unemployment. In addition, health outcomes turn out to be highly heterogeneous, depending on individual socio-economic and job-related characteristics. Leaving the labour market in one’s mature years (between 50 and 70 years of age) is a more complex transition than it may seem. Future research should focus on understanding and combating the causes of premature exit from the labour market, a relevant concern not only in economic terms but also on health grounds, in the light of our results.

Keywords: Human capital and labour markets, Health and morbidity, Causal analysis / Causal estimation

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session 115. Economic Policy and Health Outcomes