Aging, health economy and retirement policies

The Vrangbæk group investigates policies to address issues related to aging populations with a particular emphasis on retirement policies and the relationship between policies and actual retirement trends. 

Patient and medical staff


Most OECD countries are facing demographic transitions with fewer people in the working age and an increasing proportion of the population living beyond traditional retirement age.  This poses significant challenges for the sustainability of national economies and health systems as older citizens contribute less to the labor market and generally have higher demands for health and welfare services.

Our group investigates policies to address these issues with a particular emphasis on retirement policies and the relationship between policies and actual retirement trends.

We investigate patterns of retirement and we develop models to understand these patterns. We are particularly interested in the social and motivational factors for retirement transitions, and we utilize extensive registry data and cohort survey data to analyze the relationships between social and health related life situations and retirement. We collaborate with Nordic and international researchers to compare policies and retirement trends within the Nordic region and across Europe.


Retirement is a significant transition in the life course of European citizens. Many countries are encouraging people to stay longer in the workforce and flexible retirement schemes are on the rise. But what are the consequences of these developments and how do decisions about retirement relate to questions about health, social networks, economy and quality of life. With our current project, we want to answer these questions and also a number of more specific questions, such as:

  • Who retires when, how and why? Who continues to work after retirement age and why?

  • Is retirement good for your health and quality of life and beneficial for other health-related outcomes?

  • What are the factors that contribute to a good retirement process?

  • Do older workers who work past retirement age have fewer chronic diseases, consume less healthcare and have less healthcare costs compared to retirees?





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Professor Karsten Vrangbæk

Group leader: 

Karsten Vrangbæk

Phone: +45 35 33 73 29

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