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The Retirement Behavior of Married Couples: Evidence from the Spouse's Allowance

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  • Michael Baker

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Baker, 2002. "The Retirement Behavior of Married Couples: Evidence from the Spouse's Allowance," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(1), pages 1-34.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:37:y:2002:i:1:p:1-34
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Blau, David M, 1998. "Labor Force Dynamics of Older Married Couples," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 595-629, July.
    2. Jonathan Gruber, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement in Canada," NBER Chapters,in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 73-99 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Michael D. Hurd, 1990. "The Joint Retirement Decision of Husbands and Wives," NBER Chapters,in: Issues in the Economics of Aging, pages 231-258 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Pozzebon, Silvana & Mitchell, Olivia S, 1989. "Married Women's Retirement Behavior," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 2(1), pages 39-53.
    5. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1999. "How do retirement tests affect the labour supply of older men?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 27-51, January.
    6. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    7. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1999. "Early Retirement Provisions and the Labor Force Behavior of Older Men: Evidence from Canada," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 724-756, October.
    8. Blau, David M., 1997. "Social security and the labor supply of older married couples," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 373-418, December.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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