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Consumption, Income, and Retirement

Author

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  • A. L. Robb
  • J. B. Burbidge

Abstract

The authors use Canadian Family Expenditure Survey data to estimate consumption and income age profiles for married-couple families, paying attention to the transition between work and retirement. The common presumptions of numerical-simulation life-cycle models--upward-sloping consumption-age profiles and dissaving in retirement--are not supported. There is some evidence that the consumption of certain (blue-collar) households declines discontinuously near retirement, which casts doubt upon the frequently encountered assumption that the marginal utility of consumption is independent of the quantity of leisure consumed. The results also imply that the functional form of Euler equations should be sufficiently flexible to permit preretirement consumption to have an inverted U-shape. In addition, the paper shows that the uncertain lifetime model, with the addition of a bequest motive, can rationalize the empirical results.

Suggested Citation

  • A. L. Robb & J. B. Burbidge, 1989. "Consumption, Income, and Retirement," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 22(3), pages 522-542, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:22:y:1989:i:3:p:522-42
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    Cited by:

    1. Kevin Huang & Frank Caliendo, 2011. "Rationalizing multiple consumption-saving puzzles in a unified framework," Frontiers of Economics in China, Springer;Higher Education Press, vol. 6(3), pages 359-388, September.
    2. Aydogan Ulker, 2004. "Consumption Patterns around the Time of Retirement: Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Surveys," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 54, Econometric Society.
    3. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2005. "Behavioral Public Economics: Welfare and Policy Analysis with Non-Standard Decision-Makers," NBER Working Papers 11518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Lundberg, Shelly & Startza, Richard & Stillman, Steven, 2003. "The retirement-consumption puzzle: a marital bargaining approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(5-6), pages 1199-1218, May.
    5. Casey Mulligan & Tomas Philipson, "undated". "Merit Motives and Government Intervention: Public Finance in Reverse," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 2000-03, Chicago - Population Research Center.
    6. Kevin X.D. Huang & Frank Caliendo, 2007. "Rationalizing Seven Consumption-Saving Puzzles in a Unified Framework," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0716, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    7. repec:wfo:wstudy:60505 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Haensly, Paul J., 2016. "Is a pure TIPS strategy truly risk free?," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 1-20.
    9. Eric M. Engen & William G. Gale & Cori E. Uccello, 2005. "Effects Of Stock Market Fluctuations On The Adequacy Of Retirement Wealth Accumulation," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(3), pages 397-418, September.
    10. repec:wfo:wstudy:25746 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Drescher, Larissa S. & Roosen, Jutta, 2010. "An Analysis Of The Retirement-Consumption Puzzle For Food-At-Home And Away-From-Home Expenditures In Germany," 115th Joint EAAE/AAEA Seminar, September 15-17, 2010, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany 116441, European Association of Agricultural Economists;Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    12. Sule Alan & Kadir Atalay & Thomas F. Crossley, 2008. "The Adequacy of Retirement Savings: Subjective Survey Reports by Retired Canadians," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(s1), pages 95-118, November.
    13. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:4:p:1738-1758 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:wfo:wstudy:46684 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Thomas F. Crossley & Yuri Ostrovsky, 2003. "A Synthetic Cohort Analysis of Canadian Housing Careers," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 107, McMaster University.
    16. Alan L. Gustman & Olivia S. Mitchell & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1993. "The Role of Pensions in the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 4295, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Alan L. Gustman & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1990. "Pensions and the U.S. Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 3331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Yingying Dong, 2012. "Regression Discontinuity Applications with Rounding Errors in the Running Variable," Working Papers 111206, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    19. B. Douglas Bernheim & Jonathan Skinner & Steven Weinberg, 2001. "What Accounts for the Variation in Retirement Wealth among U.S. Households?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 832-857, September.
    20. María José Luengo-Prado & Almudena Sevilla-Sanz, 2010. "Consumption, retirement and life-cycle prices: Evidence from Spain," Working Papers 2010-18, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.
    21. Sabelhaus, John & Schneider, Ulrike, 1997. "Measuring The Distribution Of Well-Being: Why Income and Consumption Give Different Answers," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-201, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    22. John Burbidge & James B. Davies, 1994. "Household Data on Saving Behavior in Canada," NBER Chapters,in: International Comparisons of Household Saving, pages 11-56 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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