The retirement decision of couples: are the choices interdependant?
Most of the retirement decision models consider retirement as an individual trade-off between consumption and leisure and do not take the spouse situation into account. However, several elements could account for an interdependance between the spouses retirement decisions : complementarity for leisure (for each individual, the value of leisure could be enhanced if the leisure is shared with his/her spouse), similarity of the tastes of the spouses, family dimension of pension rules (in particular through the channel of survivor benefits ). Our objective is to assess the importance of the couple dimension in retirement decisions in France. We first simulate the sensitivity of retirement decisions to the complementarity for leisure. We then proceed to a descriptive and econometric analysis of joint retirement among couples. Our results support the idea of some interdependency in the retirement decisions, particularly for women. They also confirm that the strong penalties for precocious retirement for workers of the private sector limit the impact of this phenomenon.
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