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Heterogeneity in spending change at retirement

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  • Hurd, Michael D.
  • Rohwedder, Susann

Abstract

The 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 at retirement, 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. We find substantial heterogeneity in spending change at retirement: in the upper half of the wealth distribution spending increased. In the low-wealth population where spending did decline at higher rates, the main explanation for the decline appears to be early retirement due to poor health, possibly augmented by a short planning horizon by a minority of the population.

Suggested Citation

  • Hurd, Michael D. & Rohwedder, Susann, 2013. "Heterogeneity in spending change at retirement," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 1, pages 60-71.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joecag:v:1-2:y:2013:i::p:60-71
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeoa.2013.09.002
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    Cited by:

    1. Thang Dang, 2022. "Retirement and health services utilization in a low‐income country," Economics of Transition and Institutional Change, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 30(3), pages 597-620, July.
    2. James M. Poterba, 2014. "Retirement Security in an Aging Population," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 1-30, May.
    3. Kyureghian, Gayaneh & Soler, Louis-Georges, 2016. "Life Cycle Consumption of Food: Evidence from French Data," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 236785, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Sulka, Tomasz, 2022. "Planning and saving for retirement," DICE Discussion Papers 384, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    5. Pilar Garcia-Gomez & Titus J. Galama & Eddy van Doorslaer & Angel Lopez-Nicolas, 2017. "Interactions Between Financial Incentives and Health in the Early Retirement Decision," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-044/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    6. Dang, Thang, 2017. "The Causal Effect of Retirement on Health Services Utilization: Evidence from Urban Vietnam," MPRA Paper 79693, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Patrick Moran & Martin Orquote Connell & Cormac Orquote Dea & Francesca Parodi, 2021. "Heterogeneity in Household Spending and Well-being around Retirement," Working Papers wp427, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    8. Sulka, Tomasz, 2023. "Planning and saving for retirement," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 160(C).
    9. Eduardo Fé, 2021. "Pension eligibility rules and the local causal effect of retirement on cognitive functioning," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 184(3), pages 812-841, July.
    10. Börsch-Supan, A. & Härtl, K. & Leite, D.N., 2016. "Social Security and Public Insurance," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, in: Piggott, John & Woodland, Alan (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 781-863, Elsevier.
    11. Sebastian Devlin-Foltz & Alice Henriques Volz & John Edward Sabelhaus, 2015. "The Evolution of Retirement Wealth," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-9, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    12. James M. Poterba, 2014. "Retirement Security in an Aging Society," NBER Working Papers 19930, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Smed, Sinne & Rønnow, Helene Normann & Tetens, Inge, 2022. "The retirement (food)-consumption puzzle revisited - A panel data study from Denmark," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 112(C).
    14. David Huffman & Raimond Maurer & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2016. "Time Discounting and Economic Decision-making among the Elderly," Working Papers wp347, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    15. Kyureghian, Gayaneh & Soler, Louis-Georges, 2017. "Life Cycle Consumption Of Food At Home: Facts From French Purchase Data," 2017 International Congress, August 28-September 1, 2017, Parma, Italy 260920, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    16. Francisco Cabezon, 2022. "The Optimal Size and Progressivity of Old-Age Social Security," Papers 2211.03912, arXiv.org.
    17. Kyureghian, G. & Soler, L.-G., 2018. "Life-Cycle Consumption of Food at Home in France: Empirical Evidence from Food Expenditures and Home Production," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277548, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    18. Jim Been & Susann Rohwedder & Michael Hurd, 2021. "Households’ joint consumption spending and home production responses to retirement in the US," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 959-985, December.
    19. Aurora A. C. Teixeira & N. Renuga Nagarajan & Sandra T. Silva, 2017. "The Impact of Ageing and the Speed of Ageing on the Economic Growth of Least Developed, Emerging and Developed Countries, 1990–2013," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(3), pages 909-934, August.

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