Health, Health Insurance, and Retirement: A Survey

Posted: 18 Feb 2017 Last revised: 24 Oct 2017

See all articles by Eric French

Eric French

Department of Economics; Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

John Bailey Jones

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond; SUNY at Albany - School of Business

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2017-02-17

Abstract

The degree to which retirement decisions are driven by health is a key concern for both academics and policymakers. In this paper we survey the economic literature on the health-retirement link in developed countries. We describe the mechanisms through which health affects labor supply and discuss how they interact with public pensions and public health insurance. The historical evidence suggests that health is not the primary source of variation in retirement across countries and over time. Furthermore, declining health with age can only explain a small share of the decline in employment near retirement age. Health considerations nonetheless play an important role, especially in explaining cross-sectional variation in employment and other outcomes within countries. We review the mechanisms through which health affects retirement and discuss recent empirical analyses.

Keywords: disability, elderly, health, retirement, Social Security

Suggested Citation

French, Eric and Jones, John B., Health, Health Insurance, and Retirement: A Survey (2017-02-17). FRB Richmond Working Paper No. 17-3. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2919788

Eric French (Contact Author)

Department of Economics ( email )

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Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) ( email )

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John B. Jones

Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.albany.edu/~jbjones

SUNY at Albany - School of Business ( email )

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