Timing of the Early Retirement Decisions of Farming Couples
The retirement decisions of individuals are strongly influenced by spousal retirement, financial incentives and institutional constraints such as access to early retirement benefits. In the European Union (EU), farm retirement is encouraged by early retirement provisions for farmers. As exit from farming determines the characteristics of structural change in agriculture, it is important to find out how spousal retirement and economic incentives affect the timing and type of retirement decisions among elderly farmers. This paper analyses the timing of early retirement decisions of farming couples using duration analysis and different exit channels. The empirical analysis is based on Finnish farm-level panel data for the period 1993-1998. The results suggest that an expected pension particularly advances farm transfers. Farming couples are found to co-ordinate their early retirement decisions. However, farmers are not found to co-ordinate their early retirement according to spousal retirement under other pension schemes.
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