Outpatient visits after retirement in Europe and the US

Aniko Biro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


I conduct an empirical analysis of the relation between retirement and outpatient care use in Europe and the US, and investigate the potential driving factors of that. I link the empirical analysis to a theoretical model of medical care demand. I document that pensioners tend to visit a doctor with higher probability and more often than the rest of the 50+ population. Ceteris paribus, being retired implies 3–10 % more outpatient visits in Europe. The estimates are of similar magnitude in the US. The paper contributes to the understanding of how population ageing plays a part in the rising health care expenditures. I find evidence that retirement related individual characteristics, increasing leisure time and stronger health preferences all contribute to the positive relation between retirement and outpatient care use, which is mainly driven by the healthier individuals. The gatekeeper role of general practitioners can mitigate the increased demand for outpatient care services after retirement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363–385
JournalInternational Journal of Health Economics and Management
Issue number4
Early online date30 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

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