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.
|Journal||International Journal of Health Economics and Management|
|Early online date||30 Jun 2016|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2016|