from Renewing America

Retirement Will Kill You

June 12, 2013

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Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

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A number of recent high-profile studies have demonstrated a positive correlation between high life expectancy and continued employment throughout an individual's life. But if this is the case, why do life expectancies appear to rise during recessions, when a higher than average amount of people are out of work?

In his Bloomberg column, CFR Adjunct Senior Fellow Peter Orszag proposes that this could be attributed to some of the positive public trends associated with a downsized workforce. Changes such as decreases in pollution and traffic fatalities create positive health effects for those still in the workforce, leading Orszag to conclude that “being out of work yourself may hurt your health—but having other people out of work may help it.”

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