Retired but not Withdrawn: Does Retirement Induce Participation in Social Activities?
Being retired goes with more frequent participation in some social activities such as volunteering or going to a club. It also goes with an increase in the frequency and intensity of participation. To conclude about a causal effect of retirement we use the longitudinal SHARE (Survey on Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe) data and an IV strategy. Indeed we find that retiring can be the occasion to engage in a new social activity. More precisely, retirement increases volunteering, club and even training activities. It has little effect on religious, political or community-related involvement. There is very little sign of endogeneity of retirement. Education level and health evolution play a crucial role in most continental Europe countries. At a time of huge increase in the population of retirees it is important to access the value of their volunteering participation. A conservative estimate translates volunteering into an output of about 6% of the value of pensions for the retirees of the 10 European countries under review.