Health and Aging Before and After Retirement

36 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2020

See all articles by Ana Abeliansky

Ana Abeliansky

University of Goettingen (Göttingen)

Holger Strulik

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) - School of Law, Economics, Social Sciences

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 24, 2020


In this paper, we investigate health and aging before and after retirement for specific occupational groups. We use five waves of the Survey of Health, Aging, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) dataset and construct a frailty index for elderly men and women from 10 European countries. We classify occupation by low vs. high education, blue vs. white collar color, and by high vs. low physical or psychosocial job burden. Controlling for individual fixed effects, we find that, regardless of the used classification, workers from the first (low status) group display more health deficits at any age and accumulate health deficits faster than workers from the second (high status) group. We instrument retirement by statutory retirement ages (“normal” and “early”) and find that the health of workers in low status occupations benefits greatly from retirement, whereas retirement effects for workers in high status occupations are small and frequently insignificant. We also find that workers from low status occupations accumulate health deficits faster after retirement, i.e. we find evidence for an occupational health gradient that widens with increasing age, before and after retirement.

Keywords: health deficits, occupation, retirement, frailty index, Europe

JEL Classification: I10, I19, J13

Suggested Citation

Abeliansky, Ana and Strulik, Holger, Health and Aging Before and After Retirement (June 24, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Ana Abeliansky (Contact Author)

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) ( email )

Platz der Gottinger Sieben 3
Gottingen, D-37073

Holger Strulik

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) - School of Law, Economics, Social Sciences ( email )


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