Impacts of Leaving Paid Work on Health, Functions, and Lifestyle Behavior: Evidence from JSTAR panel data

Author Name HASHIMOTO Hideki  (University of Tokyo)
Creation Date/NO. September 2015 15-E-114
Research Project Toward a Comprehensive Resolution of the Social Security Problem: A new economics of aging
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Despite extensive research published in economic, psychological, and public health literature, a consensual view on the causal influence of leaving paid work on health, functions, lifestyle behavior, and social participation has not been reached. Recent review studies indicate that heterogeneous characteristics of the pre-retired should be accounted for to reveal the impact of leaving paid work. Related evidence is scarce in Japan where the effective retirement age is the highest among developed countries. We used panel data from the Japanese Study of Aging and Retirement (JSTAR) to fill this knowledge gap. Using propensity-matching difference-in-difference estimation stratified by age strata (under 65 vs. 65 and over), gender, and job characteristics, we find that transitioning from paid work status to retirement exerts limited impact on cognitive function, mobility, smoking behavior, body mass index, psychological distress, hypertension prevalence, fruit intake, and social participation to voluntary services. However, some segments of older people seem more vulnerable to specific impacts, e.g., men formerly engaged in white-collar jobs and secured jobs, or older women with unsecured jobs showed a negative impact on cognitive function, while men with stressful jobs show a reduced prevalence of hypertension after retirement. We argue that the heterogeneity of the population at retirement age should be considered to specify causal pathways and policy implications of health impacts after leaving paid work more effectively.