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Household Bargaining Over Wealth And The Adequacy Of Women'S Retirement Incomes In New Zealand

  • John Gibson
  • Trinh Le
  • Grant Scobie

Bargaining models of household wealth accumulation point to a potential conflict of interest between husbands and wives. Wives are typically younger than their husbands and have longer life expectancy, so they must expect to finance a longer retirement period. Therefore, when they have greater relative bargaining power, households will accumulate more wealth. There is some weak evidence for this in the United States, but this article finds the opposite pattern in New Zealand, where women's greater bargaining power results in a lower net worth in the pre-retirement cohort of couples. In New Zealand, where public pensions are more generous than in the US and are not affected by holdings of private wealth or income, it may not be rational for women with greater relative bargaining power than their spouses to favor wealth accumulation. These results indicate the importance of the policy context when considering household bargaining models.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Feminist Economics.

Volume (Year): 12 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1-2 ()
Pages: 221-246

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Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:12:y:2006:i:1-2:p:221-246
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  1. Shelly J. Lundberg & Jennifer Ward-Batts, 2000. "Saving for Retirement: Household Bargaining and Household Net Worth," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1414, Econometric Society.
  2. John Gibson, 2000. "Sheepskin effects and the returns to education in New Zealand: Do they differ by ethnic groups?," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(2), pages 201-220.
  3. 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.
  4. John Gibson & Grant Scobie, 2001. "A cohort analysis of household income, consumption and saving," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(2), pages 196-216.
  5. Filmer, Deon & Pritchett, Lant, 1998. "Estimating wealth effects without expenditure data - or tears : with an application to educational enrollments in states of India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1994, The World Bank.
  6. Chiappori, P.A., 1989. "Collective Labour Supply and Welfare," DELTA Working Papers 89-07, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  7. Doss, Cheryl R., 1996. "Testing among models of intrahousehold resource allocation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(10), pages 1597-1609, October.
  8. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
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