Sick of Retirement?

83 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2018 Last revised: 25 Dec 2018

See all articles by Nick Fabrin Nielsen

Nick Fabrin Nielsen

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics

Date Written: November 6, 2018


This paper examines the causal effect of retirement on health and healthcare utilization using two identification strategies on Danish full population data. First, I use a reform of the statutory retirement age in an IV design. Second, I use a large discontinuity in retirement take-up at the earliest age of retirement (60) in a regression discontinuity design. The results show that early retirement leads to decreases in GP visits and hospitalizations of 8-10% in the short run. The reduction in GP visits is driven by a drop in female GP utilization, while both genders contribute equally to the decline in hospitalizations. Early retirement has no effect on health measured by comorbidities or mortality. Statutory retirement has no effect on health or healthcare utilization. The results suggest that gender, age at retirement and complier composition are important sources of heterogeneity.

Keywords: Retirement, Health, Healthcare Utilization, Instrumental Variables (IV), Regression Discontinuity Design (RDD)

JEL Classification: I10, I12, I18, J26

Suggested Citation

Nielsen, Nick Fabrin, Sick of Retirement? (November 6, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Nick Fabrin Nielsen (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5
Bygning 26
1353 Copenhagen K.


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