Healthcare Utilization at Retirement: The Role of the Opportunity Cost of Time

34 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2018

See all articles by Claudio Lucifora

Claudio Lucifora

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano ; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Daria Vigani

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Abstract

We investigate the causal impact of retirement on healthcare utilization using SHARE data for 10 European countries. We show that the number of doctor's visits and the probability of visiting a doctor more than four times a year (our measures of healthcare utilization) increase after retirement. The increase in healthcare utilization is found to depend mainly on the years spent in retirement, suggesting that adjustment may take time. We find evidence of heterogeneous effects by gender and across different patterns of time use prior to retirement (i.e., working long hours, and combined work and out-of-work activities). Overall, the empirical findings suggest that the increase in healthcare utilization is consistent with the decrease in the opportunity cost of time faced by individuals when they retire.

Keywords: retirement, health, healthcare utilization

JEL Classification: J26, I10, C26

Suggested Citation

Lucifora, Claudio and Vigani, Daria, Healthcare Utilization at Retirement: The Role of the Opportunity Cost of Time. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11727. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3238552

Claudio Lucifora (Contact Author)

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano ( email )

Department of Economics and Finance
Largo Gemelli, 1
20123 Milano
Italy
+39 027 234 2525 (Phone)
+39 027 234 2781 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Daria Vigani

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

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