April 2020

IZA DP No. 13184: Does Early Access to Pension Wealth Improve Health?

revised version published as 'Trade-induced skill polarization' in: Economic Inquiry, 2020, 58 (4), 1783-1794

We examine the health impacts of early access to public pension wealth by exploiting a unique policy in Singapore allowing individuals to withdraw a proportion of their pension savings after their 55th birthday. For the identification, we employ a regression discontinuity design by comparing individuals before and after their 55th birthday. To address anticipated and lagged health impacts, we adopt the donut regression discontinuity approach. Using nationally representative monthly panel data, we find that early access to pension wealth improves self-reported overall health.