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.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13929.
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- James Banks & Richard Blundell & Sarah Tanner, 1995.
"Is there a retirement-savings puzzle?,"
IFS Working Papers
W95/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Erich Battistin & Agar Brugiavini & Enrico Rettore & Guglielmo Weber, 2009.
"The Retirement Consumption Puzzle: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Approach,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2209-26, December.
- Agar Brugiavini & Erich Battistin, & Enrico Rettore & Guglielmo Weber, 2007. "The Retirement Consumption Puzzle: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Approach," Working Papers 2007_27, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
- Erich Battistin & Agar Brugiavini & Enrico Rettore & Guglielmo Weber, 2008. "The retirement consumption puzzle: evidence from a regression discontinuity approach," IFS Working Papers W08/05, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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
- Stephens, Melvin & Unayama, Takashi, 2012. "The impact of retirement on household consumption in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 62-83.
- Nicolas Moreau & Elena Stancanelli, 2013. "Household Consumption at Retirement: A Regression Discontinuity Study on French," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 13072, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
- Moreau, Nicolas & Stancanelli, Elena G. F., 2013. "Household Consumption at Retirement: A Regression Discontinuity Study on French Data," IZA Discussion Papers 7709, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Carlo Mazzaferro & Marcello Morciano & Elena Pisano & Simone Tedeschi, 2010.
"Modelling Private Wealth Accumulation and Spend-down in the Italian Microsimulation Model CAPP_DYN: A Life-Cycle Approach,"
Center for the Analysis of Public Policies (CAPP)
0073, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Economia Politica, revised Nov 2010.
- Simone Tedeschi & Elena Pisano & Carlo Mazzaferro & Marcello Morciano, 2013. "Modelling Private Wealth Accumulation and Spend-down in the Italian Microsimulation Model CAPP_DYN: A Life-Cycle Approach," International Journal of Microsimulation, Interational Microsimulation Association, vol. 6(2), pages 76-122.
- Mark A. Aguiar & Erik Hurst & Loukas Karabarbounis, 2011. "Time Use During Recessions," NBER Working Papers 17259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Carlo Mazzaferro & Marcello Morciano & Elena Pisano & Simone Tedeschi, 2010. "The Introduction of a Private Wealth Module in CAPP_DYN: an Overview," Department of Economics 0630, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
- Nicolas Moreau & Elena Stancanelli, 2013. "Household Consumption at Retirement: A Regression Discontinuity Study on French Data," UniversitÃ© Paris1 PanthÃ©on-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00881215, HAL.
- Eichhorst, Werner & Gerard, Maarten & Kendzia, Michael J. & Mayrhuber, Christine & Nielsen, Conny & Rünstler, Gerhard & Url, Thomas, 2011. "Report No. 42: Pension Systems in the EU – Contingent Liabilities and Assets in the Public and Private Sector," IZA Research Reports 42, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Yingying Dong, 2012. "Regression Discontinuity Applications with Rounding Errors in the Running Variable," Working Papers 111206, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
- Raffaele Miniaci & Chiara Monfardini & Guglielmo Weber, 2010. "How does consumption change upon retirement?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 257-280, April.
- Jang, Bong-Gyu & Park, Seyoung & Rhee, Yuna, 2013. "Optimal retirement with unemployment risks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3585-3604.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.