How Does Retirement Affect Health?

55 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2009

See all articles by Stefanie Behncke

Stefanie Behncke

IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Swiss National Bank


This paper investigates the effects of retirement on various health outcomes. Data stem from the first three waves of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). With this informative data, non-parametric matching methods can be applied to identify causal effects. It is found that retirement significantly increases the risk of being diagnosed with a chronic condition. In particular, it raises the risk of developing a cardiovascular disease and being diagnosed with cancer. Estimates also indicate that retirement has quite diverse effects for different individuals.

Keywords: retirement, health, matching methods, ELSA

JEL Classification: I10, J14, J26

Suggested Citation

Behncke, Stefanie, How Does Retirement Affect Health?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4253, Available at SSRN:

Stefanie Behncke (Contact Author)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

Bonn, D-53072

Swiss National Bank ( email )

Financial Stability
Bundesplatz 1
Bern, 3003

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