Effects of Retirement on Emotional Health: Cross-Country Differences in the United States, England, and South Korea
Jinkook Lee, RAND Corporation
How does retirement influence emotional health? Previous empirical findings on this question are mixed. Some suggest retirement does not affect emotional health or can even improve it. Others suggest it adversely affects emotional health because of the resulting loss of the social role and network tied to the workplace, suggesting the moderating effect of a social network. This study analyzes the effect of retirement on emotional health and the potential moderating effect of the social environment, using panel data from three countries, the United States, England, and South Korea. We study the effect of retirement on emotional health, while distinguishing different pathways to retirement (i.e., routine, voluntary, and involuntary). We find significant variations across different pathways and across countries. We also find some evidence of moderating effects of social network, contributing to differences in the effect of retirement on emotional health, and cross-country differences in the moderating effects of social networks.