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Retirement Decisions of Couples: The Impact of Spousal Characteristics and Preferences on the Timing of Retirement

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  • Diana Warren

    ()
    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

Abstract

This paper provides new evidence of coordination of retirement by mature age couples in Australia. Two complementary estimation approaches are used to highlight the importance of taking the household decision-making context into account when modeling the retirement behaviour of partnered men and women. First, a single risk hazard model provides insights into the influences of a spouse’s characteristics on the retirement decision of the individual. Second, a competing-risks framework is used to examine the retirement behaviour of couples exiting from a situation in which both are in paid employment. There is strong evidence of coordination of retirement by mature age couples in Australia due to complementarities in leisure and, for women, because of caring responsibilities. In particular, the results suggest that women may delay their own retirement if their partner has a financial incentive to continue in the labour force; or retire early to care for a partner who is in poor health.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2013n41.

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Length: 33pp
Date of creation: Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2013n41

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Keywords: Retirement; older workers; households; leisure; complementarity;

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References

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  1. Michael Baker, 1999. "The Retirement Behavior of Married Couples: Evidence From the Spouse's Allowance," Working Papers baker-99-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  2. Tammy Schirle, 2008. "Why Have the Labor Force Participation Rates of Older Men Increased since the Mid-1990s?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(4), pages 549-594, October.
  3. Blau, David M. & Riphahn, Regina T., 1999. "Labor force transitions of older married couples in Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 229-252, June.
  4. Zweimuller, Josef & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Falkinger, Josef, 1996. "Retirement of spouses and social security reform," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 449-472, February.
  5. Stock, James H & Wise, David A, 1990. "Pensions, the Option Value of Work, and Retirement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1151-80, September.
  6. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 2004. "Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Micro-Estimation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub04-1, octubre-d.
  7. Pozzoli, Dario & Ranzani, Marco, 2009. "Old European Couples' Retirement Decisions: the Role of Love and Money," Working Papers 09-2, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  8. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 2004. "Social security, pensions and retirement behaviour within the family," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 723-737.
  9. Browning, Martin, 2000. " The Saving Behaviour of a Two-Person Household," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(2), pages 235-51, June.
  10. Richard Blundell & Costas Meghir & Sarah Smith, 2002. "Pension Incentives and the Pattern of Early Retirement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C153-C170, March.
  11. Diana Warren & Umut Oguzoglu, 2010. "Retirement in Australia: A Closer Look at the Financial Incentives," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 43(4), pages 357-375, December.
  12. Donna B. Gilleskie & David M. Blau, 2006. "Health insurance and retirement of married couples," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(7), pages 935-953.
  13. Gustman, Alan L & Steinmeier, Thomas L, 2000. "Retirement in Dual-Career Families: A Structural Model," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 503-45, July.
  14. Michaud, Pierre-Carl, 2003. "Joint Labour Supply Dynamics of Older Couples," IZA Discussion Papers 832, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Kanika Kapur & Jeannette Rogowski, 2006. "The Role of Health Insurance in Joint Retirement among Married Couples," Working Papers 200614, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  16. Mark Y. An & Bent Jesper Christensen & Nabanita Datta Gupta, 2004. "Multivariate mixed proportional hazard modelling of the joint retirement of married couples," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 687-704.
  17. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Stillman, Steven, 2006. "The Retirement Expectations of Middle-Aged Individuals," IZA Discussion Papers 2449, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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