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The Role of Health Insurance in Joint Retirement among Married Couples

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  • Kanika Kapur
  • Jeannette Rogowski

Abstract

Because the near-elderly have high expected medical expenditures, availability of health insurance is an important factor in their retirement decisions. Using Health and Retirement Study data collected in 1992-2002, the authors of this study specifically investigate whether access to employer-provided retiree health insurance for early retirement enabled dual working couples to time their retirement together-a behavior called "joint retirement." They find that when wives had employer-provided retiree health insurance, the likelihood of joint retirement more than doubled. The effect of retiree health insurance on overall employment patterns, in contrast, was modest: estimates indicate that a hypothetical change from universal availability of such insurance to its universal unavailability would have increased employment levels by only two percentage points.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

Volume (Year): 60 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 397-407

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Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:60:y:2007:i:3:p:397-407

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References

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  1. Courtney Coile, 2003. "Retirement Incentives and Couples' Retirement Decisions," NBER Working Papers 9496, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Michael D. Hurd, 1988. "The Joint Retirement Decision of Husbands and Wives," NBER Working Papers 2803, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1994. "Retirement in a Family Context: A Structural Model for Husbands and Wives," NBER Working Papers 4629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. David M, Blau & Donna B, Gilleskie, 2003. "Health Insurance and Retirement of Married Couples," Working Papers 2003-41, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
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Cited by:
  1. Elena Stancanelli, 2012. "Spouses' Retirement and Hours of Work Outcomes : Evidence from Twofold Regression Discontinuity," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00755648, HAL.
  2. Elena Stancanelli, 2012. "Spouses' Retirement and Hours of Work Outcomes: Evidence from Twofold Regression Discontinuity," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 12074, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  3. Diana Warren, 2013. "Retirement Decisions of Couples: The Impact of Spousal Characteristics and Preferences on the Timing of Retirement," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2013n41, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  4. Joshua Congdon-Hohman, 2013. "Love, Toil, and Health Insurance: Why American Husbands Retire When They Do," Working Papers 1115, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
  5. Stancanelli, Elena G. F., 2012. "Spouses' Retirement and Hours Outcomes: Evidence from Twofold Regression Discontinuity with Differences-in-Differences," IZA Discussion Papers 6791, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. James Marton & Stephen A. Woodbury, 2010. "The Influence of Retiree Health Benefits on Retirement Patterns," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 10-163, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

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