Consumption, Income, and Retirement
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.
Volume (Year): 22 (1989)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
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