Fatal Attraction? Access to Early Retirement and Mortality

Institute for Empirical Research in Economics, University of Zurich, Working Paper No. 499

57 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2010  

Andreas Kuhn

University of Zurich; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Jean-Philippe Wuellrich

University of Zurich - Department of Economics

Josef Zweimüller

University of Zurich - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 31, 2010

Abstract

We estimate the causal effect of early retirement on mortality for blue-collar workers. To overcome the problem of endogenous selection, we exploit an exogenous change in unemployment insurance rules in Austria that allowed workers in eligible regions to withdraw from the workforce up to 3.5 years earlier than those in non-eligible regions. For males, instrumental-variable estimates show a significant 2.4 percentage points (about 13%) increase in the probability of dying before age 67. We do not find any adverse effect of early retirement on mortality for females. Death causes indicate a significantly higher incidence of cardiovascular disorders among eligible workers, suggesting that changes in health-related behavior explain increased mortality among male early retirees.

Keywords: Early retirement, mortality, premature death, health behavior, endogeneity, instrumental variable

JEL Classification: I1, J14, J26

Suggested Citation

Kuhn, Andreas and Wuellrich, Jean-Philippe and Zweimueller, Josef, Fatal Attraction? Access to Early Retirement and Mortality (August 31, 2010). Institute for Empirical Research in Economics, University of Zurich, Working Paper No. 499. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1669912 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1669912

Andreas Kuhn (Contact Author)

University of Zurich ( email )

Bluemlisalpstrasse 10
Zurich, 8006
Switzerland

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Jean-Philippe Wuellrich

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Mühlebachstrasse 86
Zurich, 8008
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.iew.uzh.ch/index.html

Josef Zweimueller

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Zuerich, 8006
Switzerland
+411 634 3724 (Phone)
+411 634 4907 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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