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Older couples' labour market reactions to family disruptions

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Abstract

In this paper, I analyse how spouses in older couples react to ‘shocks’ or ‘surprises’ in their partner’s labour income using data from the British Household Panel Survey, 1991-2004. Wives’ labour supply proves to be much more sensitive to shocks than husbands’. After a divorce or separation, wives reduce their labour supply while the effect on husbands’ labour supply is positive or not statistically significant. If a wife becomes unemployed, it does not affect her husband’s labour supply while wives whose husband becomes unemployed reduce their labour supply, too. A decline in husband’s health causes the wife to reduce her working hours while husbands tend to increase their labour supply when facing a decline in wife’s health. Partner’s death does not have statistically significant labour supply effects. Negative income shocks due to other reasons (such as choice) tend to reduce partner’s labour supply and vice versa, but only slightly.

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  • Haardt, David, 2007. "Older couples' labour market reactions to family disruptions," ISER Working Paper Series 2007-08, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2007-08
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    File URL: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/research/publications/working-papers/iser/2007-08.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 2004. "Social security, pensions and retirement behaviour within the family," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 723-737.
    2. 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.
    3. Haardt, David, 2006. "Transitions out of and back to employment among older men and women in the UK," ISER Working Paper Series 2006-20, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    4. Weiss, Yoram & Willis, Robert J, 1997. "Match Quality, New Information, and Marital Dissolution," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 293-329, January.
    5. Haurin, Donald R, 1989. "Women's Labor Market Reactions to Family Disruptions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 54-61, February.
    6. John Bound, 1991. "Self-Reported Versus Objective Measures of Health in Retirement Models," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(1), pages 106-138.
    7. Boheim, Rene & Ermisch, John, 2001. " Partnership Dissolution in the UK--The Role of Economic Circumstances," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(2), pages 197-208, May.
    8. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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