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

  • Håkan Selin

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.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2012/wp-cesifo-2012-03/cesifo1_wp3772.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3772.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3772
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  1. Michael Baker, 2003. "The Retirement Behavior of Married Couples: Evidence From The Spouse's Allowance," Working Papers 993, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  2. Coile Courtney, 2004. "Retirement Incentives and Couples' Retirement Decisions," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-30, July.
  3. Vermeulen, Frederic, 2002. " Collective Household Models: Principles and Main Results," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(4), pages 533-64, September.
  4. Liebman, Jeffrey B. & Luttmer, Erzo F.P. & Seif, David G., 2009. "Labor supply responses to marginal Social Security benefits: Evidence from discontinuities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1208-1223, December.
  5. 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.
  6. Palme, Mårten & Svensson, Ingemar, 2001. "Income Security Programs and Retirement in Sweden," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 422, Stockholm School of Economics.
  7. Stock, James H & Wise, David A, 1990. "Pensions, the Option Value of Work, and Retirement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1151-80, September.
  8. Dayanand S. Manoli & Andrea Weber, 2011. "Nonparametric Evidence on the Effects of Financial Incentives on Retirement Decisions," NBER Working Papers 17320, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 2001. "Social Security, Pensions and Retirement Behavior Within the Family," Working Papers wp018, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  10. Monika Queisser & Edward R. Whitehouse, 2006. "Neutral or Fair?: Actuarial Concepts and Pension-System Design," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 40, OECD Publishing.
  11. T. Schirle, 2007. "Why Have the Labour Force Participation Rates of Older Men Increased Since the Mid 1990s," Working Papers eg0045, Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Economics, revised 2007.
  12. Mark Y. An & Bent Jesper Christensen & Nabanita Datta Gupta, 2004. "Multivariate mixed proportional hazard modelling of the joint retirement of married couples," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 687-704.
  13. Daniel Hallberg, 2011. "Economic Fluctuations and Retirement of Older Employees," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 25(3), pages 287-307, 09.
  14. Zweimuller, Josef & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Falkinger, Josef, 1996. "Retirement of spouses and social security reform," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 449-472, February.
  15. Burtless, Gary, 1986. "Social Security, Unanticipated Benefit Increases, and the Timing of Retirement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(5), pages 781-805, October.
  16. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
  17. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2007. "Future Social Security Entitlements and the Retirement Decision," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 234-246, May.
  18. repec:crr:crrwps:2003-04 is not listed on IDEAS
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