The Retirement Behavior of Married Couples: Evidence from the Spouse's Allowance
I examine the introduction of the Spouse's Allowance to the Canadian Income Security (IS) system. This program was nominally targeted at females in couples attempting to live on a single pension, allowing them to receive the age related benefits of the IS system at age 60, up to five years earlier than other members of the population. The results indicate that the introduction of the Allowance is associated with a six to seven percentage point relative decrease in labor force participation among males in eligible couples. Eligible females did not share the rising employment rates of their counterparts (of the same age) who were not eligible for the Allowance.
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