The effect of retirement on social relationships

Simona Lorena Comi, Elena Cottini, Claudio Lucifora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We analyze the causal effect of retirement on individual social relationships using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe. We find that retirement changes the composition of the individual's social network, inducing a substitution between weak (friends or colleagues) and strong ties (family), along with an increase in the intensity of the surviving ties, and there is no effect on the network's size. These changes in the social network's composition are associated with a higher satisfaction and stronger relationships. Interestingly, females reduce the share of friends while males that of colleagues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-299
Number of pages25
JournalGerman Economic Review
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • ageing
  • emotional closeness
  • retirement
  • social relationships


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