What's Politics Got to do with it? Changes Retirement Expectations in Response to the ACA

Jordan Banks, Norma Coe

NBER Retirement Research Center Paper No. NB 15-09
Issued in September 2015

Access to health insurance is a known determinant in labor market decisions, both in terms whether and how much to work. Recent research suggests that the Massachusetts health reform has had significant retirement effects for males ages 55-64 (Sanzenbacher 2014). However, current work has focused on estimating the average effect of health insurance on retirement; heterogeneity is likely important as well. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is an extreme example of politically charged policy change. This project estimates the effect of the ACA on retirement, and explore whether local and/or individual political beliefs are a source of heterogeneity in the “treatment effect,” using unique state-level data for the state of Washington.

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