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Retirement and Unexpected Health Shocks

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Is retirement good for your health? This article explores the impact of retirement on unexpected health evolutions. Using data from the annual Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey (2001-2014), we construct measures of the mismatch between each person’s expected and actual health evolution (hereafter, “health shocks”). We find that after retirement, the probability of negative shocks decreases and the likelihood of positive health shocks increases, for both genders. These shocks translate into variations of life satisfaction in the same direction (i.e. unexpected positive health shocks increase life satisfaction). Other indicators of mental and physical health taken from the SF-36 vary in the same way, i.e. improve unexpectedly after retirement. By definition, health shocks are immune to the problem of reverse causality that could run from health to retirement. Hence, our findings are consistent with a positive impact of retirement on health.
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Dates and versions

halshs-01670486 , version 1 (21-12-2017)
halshs-01670486 , version 2 (17-05-2018)
halshs-01670486 , version 3 (01-02-2019)


  • HAL Id : halshs-01670486 , version 3


Bénédicte Apouey, Cahit Guven, Claudia Senik. Retirement and Unexpected Health Shocks. 2019. ⟨halshs-01670486v3⟩
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