Health, Health Insurance, and Retirement: A Survey

Posted: 14 Aug 2017

See all articles by Eric French

Eric French

Department of Economics; Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

John Jones

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2017

Abstract

The degree to which retirement decisions are driven by health is a key concern for both academics and policy makers. In this review, 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 these mechanisms 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, the decline of 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.

Suggested Citation

French, Eric and Jones, John, Health, Health Insurance, and Retirement: A Survey (August 2017). Annual Review of Economics, Vol. 9, pp. 383-409, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3017727 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-economics-063016-103616

Eric French (Contact Author)

Department of Economics ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) ( email )

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

John Jones

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond ( email )

P.O. Box 27622
Richmond, VA 23261
United States

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