The Retirement Consumption Puzzle: Actual Spending Change in Panel Data
AbstractThe simple one-good model of life-cycle consumption requires that consumption be continuous over retirement; yet prior research based on partial measures of consumption or on synthetic panels indicates that spending drops at retirement, a result that has been called the retirement-consumption puzzle. Using panel data on total spending, nondurable spending and food spending, we find that spending declines at small rates over retirement, at rates that could be explained by mechanisms such as the cessation of work-related expenses, unexpected retirement due to a health shock or by the substitution of time for spending. In the low-wealth population where spending did decline at higher rates, the main explanation for the decline appears to be a high rate of early retirement due to poor health. We conclude that at the population level there is no retirement consumption puzzle in our data, and that in subpopulations where there were substantial declines, conventional economic theory can provide the main explanation.
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Date of creation: Apr 2008
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Other versions of this item:
- Michael Hurd & Susann Rohwedder, 2008. "The Retirement-Consumption Puzzle: Actual Spending Change in Panel Data," Working Papers 563, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
- D91 - Microeconomics - - Intertemporal Choice - - - Intertemporal Household Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
- J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- The crisis, and Nudge
by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2008-09-22 15:00:32
- The Retirement Consumption Puzzle: Actual Spending Change in Panel Data
by Liam Delaney in Geary Behaviour Centre on 2009-08-07 15:54:00
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Center for the Analysis of Public Policies (CAPP)
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