"How Changes in Lifestyle During Retirement Affect Mental and Physical Health" - Under Review
In this paper, I estimate the causal impact of retirement on health measures and investigate potential mechanisms driving the health effects of retirement. I decompose the retirement effect into two parts: (i) the part mediated by health behaviors which I measure with heavy drinking, exercise, and time use; (ii) a residual which includes, for instance, relief from occupational strain, a decreasing income, and loss of purpose. To address the endogeneity of retirement on individual health status or health-related behaviors, I employ the eligibility age for social security as an instrument. The overall total effect of retirement is found to be beneficial for female and male physical and mental health. Moreover, I find that lifestyle change induced by retirement, specifically an increase in the probability of doing exercise, intensifies the beneficial effect of retirement on female and male mental health.