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The mortality effects of retirement: Evidence from Social Security eligibility at age 62

Maria D. Fitzpatrick and Timothy J. Moore

Journal of Public Economics, 2018, vol. 157, issue C, 121-137

Abstract: Social Security eligibility begins at age 62, and approximately one third of Americans immediately claim at that age. We examine whether age 62 is associated with a discontinuous change in aggregate mortality, a key measure of population health. Using mortality data that covers the entire U.S. population and includes exact dates of birth and death, we document a robust two percent increase in male mortality immediately after age 62. The change in female mortality is smaller and imprecisely estimated. Additional analysis suggests that the increase in male mortality is connected to retirement from the labor force and associated lifestyle changes.

Keywords: Social security; Retirement; Labor force participation; Mortality; Health; Economic determinants of health (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H55 J14 J26 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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