NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Retiree Health Insurance for Public School Employees: Does it Affect Retirement?

Maria D. Fitzpatrick

NBER Working Paper No. 19524
Issued in October 2013
NBER Program(s):   AG   ED   HC   LS   PE

Despite the widespread provision of retiree health insurance for public sector workers, little attention has been paid to its effects on employee retirement. This is in contrast to the large literature on health-insurance-induced "job-lock" in the private sector. I use the introduction of retiree health insurance for public school employees in combination with administrative data on their retirement to identify the effects of retiree health insurance. As expected, the availability of retiree health insurance for older workers allows employees to retire earlier. These behavioral changes have budgetary implications, likely making the programs self-financing rather than costly to taxpayers.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19524

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