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Does the Balance of Power Within a Family Matter? The Case of the Retirement Equity Act

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  • Saku Aura

Abstract

This paper studies within-family decision making regarding investment in income protection for surviving spouses. A change in US pension law (the Retirement Equity Act of 1984) is used as an instrument to derive predictions both from a simple Nash-bargaining model of the household and from the classical single-utility-function model of the household. This law change gave spouses of married pension-plan participants the right to survivor benefits unless they explicitly waived this right. The predictions of the classical model are rejected in favor of the predictions of the Nash-bargaining model in the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Saku Aura, 2002. "Does the Balance of Power Within a Family Matter? The Case of the Retirement Equity Act," CESifo Working Paper Series 734, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_734
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    Cited by:

    1. Jon Strand, 2005. "Individual and Household Values of Mortality Reductions with Intrahousehold Bargaining," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 217-236, September.
    2. Lukach, R. & Plasmans, J.E.J., 2002. "Measuring Knowledge Spillovers using Patent Citations : Evidence from the Belgian Firm's Data," Other publications TiSEM d78bf59a-e0ff-4451-86b9-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    3. Jon Strand, 2007. "Public-good valuation and intra-family allocation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 38(4), pages 527-543, December.

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