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What happens to the husband’s retirement decision when the wife’s retirement incentives change?

  • Selin, Håkan

    ()

    (Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies)

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, we 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. We 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, we do not find any evidence of a response among husbands. This finding is at odds with some earlier results in the literature.

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Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies with number 2011:8.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 11 Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uufswp:2011_008
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Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

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Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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  1. 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.
  2. James H. Stock & David A. Wise, 1988. "Pensions, The Option Value of Work, and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 2686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Liebman, Jeffrey B. & Luttmer, Erzo F.P. & Seif, David G., 2009. "Labor Supply Responses to Marginal Social Security Benefits: Evidence from Discontinuities," Scholarly Articles 4481678, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  4. repec:crr:crrwps:2003-04 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. 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.
  6. Daniel Hallberg, 2011. "Economic Fluctuations and Retirement of Older Employees," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 25(3), pages 287-307, 09.
  7. 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.
  8. Michael Baker, 2002. "The Retirement Behavior of Married Couples: Evidence from the Spouse's Allowance," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(1), pages 1-34.
  9. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
  10. 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.
  11. Tammy Schirle, 2008. "Why Have the Labor Force Participation Rates of Older Men Increased since the Mid-1990s?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(4), pages 549-594, October.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Vermeulen, Frederic, 2002. " Collective Household Models: Principles and Main Results," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(4), pages 533-64, September.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Gary Burtless, 1986. "Social Security, Unanticipated Benefit Increases, and the Timing of Retirement," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(5), pages 781-805.
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