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What Happens to the Husband's Retirement Decision when the Wife's Retirement Incentives Change?

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  • Håkan Selin

Abstract

Several studies have documented a strong correlation in the timing of spouses’ retirement decisions. However, considerably less is known about the causal impact of one spouse’s retirement incentives on the retirement decision of the other spouse. Before, but not after, 2001 broad categories of Swedish local government workers in female dominated occupations were entitled to retire with full pension benefits already at the age of 63. In this paper, I utilize this reform – together with a micro data set covering the total Swedish population – to estimate the effect of a change in the wife’s incentive on the husband’s retirement behavior. I document a sharp decrease in pension benefit withdrawals among 63 year old wives in the local government sector in the years following the reform. However, I do not find any evidence of a response among husbands. This finding is at odds with most earlier results in the literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Håkan Selin, 2012. "What Happens to the Husband's Retirement Decision when the Wife's Retirement Incentives Change?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3772, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3772
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Lisa Laun & Mårten Palme, 2018. "The Recent Rise of Labor Force Participation of Older Workers in Sweden," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Working Longer, pages 231-265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hagen, Johannes, 2016. "What are the Health effects of postponing retirement? An instrumental variable approach," Working Paper Series 2016:11, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    3. Atalay, Kadir & Barrett, Garry F., 2016. "Pension Incentives and the Retirement Decisions of Couples," IZA Discussion Papers 10013, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Johnsen, Julian V. & Vaage, Kjell, 2015. "Spouses’ retirement and the take-up of disability pension," Working Papers in Economics 03/15, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    joint retirement; retirement age; occupational pensions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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