Retirement patterns of couples in Europe
In this paper we study the retirement patterns of couples in a multi-country setting using data from the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe. In particular, we test whether women’s (men’s) transitions out of the labor force are causally related to the actual realization of their husbands’ (wives’) transition, using the institutional variation in country-speciﬁc early and full statutory retirement ages to instrument the latter. Exploiting the discontinuities in retirement behavior across countries, we ﬁnd a signiﬁcant joint retirement effect, especially for women, of around 16 to 18 percentage points. For men, we ﬁnd a similar but less precise effect. Our empirical strategy allows us to give a causal interpretation to the effect we estimate. In addition, this effect has important implications for policy analysis.
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