The Effects of Retirement on Health and Health Behaviour among Retirees and their Partners: Evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing

Attakrit Leckcivilize* (Corresponding Author), Paul McNamee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Retirement from paid work is a major transitional point and can have large impacts on lifestyle choices and subsequent health. Using eight waves of data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), this paper assesses impacts of both own and partner’s retirement on health and health behaviour by examining heterogeneous effects. We focus on individuals who retired from paid work and estimate fixed effects regression using state pension age (SPA) as an instrumental variable. Our results suggest that whilst own retirement improves health outcomes and increases the probability of engaging in more physical activity, the retirement of a partner does not influence the health or health behaviour of the other partner. The results from sub-sample regressions focusing on differences by sex, education, wealth, and occupation are consistent with these main findings, and find no significant impacts of partner retirement on own health or health behaviour in these sub-groups. Our results for the full sample and the sub-groups are mostly robust to changes in sample restriction and model specification, with only a small number of changes in absolute coefficient size. The results may suggest a role for targeted interventions, particularly amongst those with fewer years of education, lower wealth and some occupational groups.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Population Ageing
Early online date8 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • retirement
  • health behaviour
  • healthy lifestyles
  • retirement externalities
  • partners

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