Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #668

The Causal Effects of Retirement on Mental Health: Looking Beyond the Mean Effects

by Ingo Kolodziej and Pilar García-Gómez

RUB, RWI, 01/2017, 30 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-775-5 DOI: 10.4419/86788775



We analyze the causal effect of retirement on mental health, exploiting differences in retirement eligibility ages across countries and over time using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe. We estimate not only average effects, but also use distributional regression to examine whether these effects are unequally distributed across the mental health distribution. We find unequally distributed protective effects of retirement on mental health. These gains are larger among those above the clinically defined threshold of being at risk of depression. The preserving effects are larger for women, blue collar workers and those in social networks.

JEL-Classification: I10, J14, J26

Keywords: Retirement; mental health; economics of the elderly; distributional regression