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Consumer Expenditures and Home Production at Retirement - New Evidence from Germany

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  • Melanie Lührmann

Abstract

This paper investigates consumer expenditures of German households pre- and post-retirement. The widely observed distinct drop in spending upon retirement entry poses an empirical puzzle since life cycle theory predicts smoothing of the marginal utility of consumption over time. As one explanation, I explore the role of home production as a substitute for consumer expenses. Taking a combined look at consumer expenditures and time use pre- and post-retirement, I find a significant drop of about 17% of pre-retirement expenses at retirement which coincides with an increase in time spent on home production of an additional 89 minutes per day, accounting for 21% of average home production. Copyright 2009 The Author. Journal Compilation Verein für Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2009.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal German Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 11 (2010)
Issue (Month): (05)
Pages: 225-245

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Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:11:y:2010:i::p:225-245

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  1. Sarah Smith, 2004. "Can the retirement consumption puzzle be solved?," IFS Working Papers W04/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Joachim Merz, 2001. "Was fehlt in der EVS ? Eine Verteilungsanalyse hoher Einkommen mit der verknüpften Einkommensteuerstatistik für Selbständige und abhängig Beschäftigte," FFB-Discussionpaper 30, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)), LEUPHANA University Lüneburg.
  3. Simone Kohnz & Reinhold Schnabel, 2002. "Micro Modeling of Retirement Decisions in Germany," MEA discussion paper series 02020, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  4. John Laitner & Dan Silverman, 2005. "Estimating Life—Cycle Parameters from Consumption Behavior at Retirement”," Working Papers wp099, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  5. B. Douglas Bernheim & Jonathan Skinner & Steven Weinberg, 1997. "What Accounts for the Variation in Retirement Wealth Among U.S. Households?," NBER Working Papers 6227, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Banks, James & Blundell, Richard & Tanner, Sarah, 1998. "Is There a Retirement-Savings Puzzle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 769-88, September.
  7. Dilnot, Andrew & Disney, Richard & Johnson, Paul & Whitehouse, Edward, 1994. "Pensions policy in the UK: An economic analysis," MPRA Paper 10478, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Michael Hurd & Susann Rohwedder, 2004. "The Retirement-Consumption Puzzle: Anticipated and Actual Declines in Spending at Retirement," Working Papers wp069, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  9. Raffaele Miniaci & Chiara Monfardini & Guglielmo Weber, 2003. "Is there a retirement consumption puzzle in Italy?," IFS Working Papers W03/14, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. Sarah Smith, 2006. "The Retirement-Consumption Puzzle and Involuntary Early Retirement: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(510), pages C130-C148, 03.
  11. Schwerdt, Guido, 2005. "Why does consumption fall at retirement? Evidence from Germany," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 89(3), pages 300-305, December.
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  13. Barbara Berkel & Axel Börsch-Supan, 2004. "Pension Reform in Germany: The Impact on Retirement Decisions," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 60(3), pages 393-, September.
  14. Michael D. Hurd & Susann Rohwedder, 2006. "Some Answers to the Retirement-Consumption Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 12057, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1982. "Consumption During Retirement: The Missing Link in the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 0930, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Michael D. Hurd & Susann Rohwedder, 2005. "Changes in Consumption and Activities in Retirement," Working Papers wp096, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  17. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2004. "Consumption vs. Expenditure," NBER Working Papers 10307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Axel Börsch-Supan & Barbara Berkel, 2004. "Pension Reform in Germany: The Impact on Retirement Decisions," MEA discussion paper series 04062, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  19. Shelly Lundberg & Richard Startz & Steven Stillman, 2001. "The Retirement-Consumption Puzzle: A Marital Bargaining Approach," Working Papers 01-04, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
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Cited by:
  1. Peine & Ingo Rollwagen & Louis Neven, 2012. "Exploring new patterns of user involvement – baby boomers and the future of consumption," Innovation Studies Utrecht (ISU) working paper series 12-09, Utrecht University, Department of Innovation Studies, revised Sep 2012.
  2. Thomas F. Crossley & Hamish Low & Cormac O’Dea, 2011. "Household Consumption Through Recent Recessions," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1132, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
  3. Martin Browning & Thomas Crossley & Melanie Lührmann, 2012. "Durable Purchases over the Later Life Cycle," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1213, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
  4. Nivorozhkina, Ludmila & Nivorozhkin, Anton & Abazieva, Kamilla, 2010. "Drop in consumption associated with retirement. The regression discontinuity design approach," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 19(3), pages 112-126.

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