How Do Health Shocks Influence Retirement Decisions?

TitleHow Do Health Shocks Influence Retirement Decisions?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsMcGeary, KAnne
JournalReview of Economics of the Household
Call Numbernewpubs20090908_McGeary.pdf
KeywordsDemographics, Employment and Labor Force, Health Conditions and Status, Retirement Planning and Satisfaction

The financial viability of the nation s Medicare and Social Security programs has come into question as older adult workers, in particular members of the baby-boomer generation, begin to voluntarily retire. Obviously, any deterioration in the health of older adults will inevitably increase pressure on the Medicare system. However, if older adults respond to changes in their health by reducing their labor supply, than this will also increase demand for the Social Security system. Using data on married and employed couples from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), this paper determines how the labor supply of each member of a married couple is influenced by changes in the health, assets and medical expenditures of the other member of the couple. Therefore, adding to the extant literature as we determine how the labor supply of an individual responds to health shocks visited on their spouse. We find that the labor supply of both males and females is influenced by their own health shocks and health shocks suffered by their spouses.

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Citation Key7360