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Does the Balance of Power Within a Family Matter? The Case of the Retirement Equity Act

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  • Saku Aura

Abstract

This paper studies within-family decision making regarding investment in income protection for surviving spouses. A change in US pension law (the Retirement Equity Act of 1984) is used as an instrument to derive predictions both from a simple Nash-bargaining model of the household and from the classical single-utility-function model of the household. This law change gave spouses of married pension-plan participants the right to survivor benefits unless they explicitly waived this right. The predictions of the classical model are rejected in favor of the predictions of the Nash-bargaining model in the data.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2002/wp-cesifo-2002-05/734.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 734.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_734

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  1. Jeffrey R. Brown, 1999. "Are the Elderly Really Over-Annuitized? New Evidence on Life Insurance and Bequests," NBER Working Papers 7193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Martin Browning, 1994. "The Saving Behaviour of a Two Person Household," Department of Economics Working Papers 1994-01, McMaster University.
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  7. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1991. "How Strong Are Bequest Motives? Evidence Based on Estimates of the Demand for Life Insurance and Annuities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 899-927, October.
  8. Lundberg, S.J. & Pollak, R.A. & Wales, T.J., 1994. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from U.K. Child Benefit," Working Papers, University of Washington, Department of Economics 94-6, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  9. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1991. "Nash-Bargained Household Decisions: A Rejoinder," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(3), pages 761-62, August.
  10. Brigitte C. Madrian & Dennis F. Shea, 2001. "THE POWER OF SUGGESTION: INERTIA IN 401(k) PARTICIPATION AND SAVINGS BEHAVIOR," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1149-1187, November.
  11. Lundberg, Shelly & Pollak, Robert A, 1993. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 988-1010, December.
  12. B. Douglas Bernheim & Lorenzo Forni & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1999. "The Adequacy of Life Insurance: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Working Papers 7372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Esther Duflo, 2000. "Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old Age Pension and Intra-household Allocation in South Africa," NBER Working Papers 8061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Nash-Bargained Households Decisions: A Comment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(4), pages 791-96, November.
  15. K. C. Holden & S. Nicholson, . "Selection of a Joint-and-Survivor Pension," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty 1175-98, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  16. McElroy, Marjorie B & Horney, Mary Jean, 1981. "Nash-Bargained Household Decisions: Toward a Generalization of the Theory of Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(2), pages 333-49, June.
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