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The retirement consumption puzzle: evidence from a regression discontinuity approach

Author

Listed:
  • Erich Battistin

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Agar Brugiavini

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Venice)

  • Enrico Rettore

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Guglielmo Weber

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Padua)

Abstract

In this paper we investigate the size of the consumption drop at retirement in Italy. We use micro data on food and total non-durable household spending covering the period 1993-2004, and evaluate the change in consumption that accompanies retirement by exploiting the exogenous variability in pension eligibility to correct for the endogenous nature of the retirement decision. We take a regression discontinuity approach, and make the identifying assumption that consumption would be the same around the threshold for pension eligibility if individuals would not retire. We check in our data that a non-negligible fraction of individuals retire as soon as they become eligible, and estimate at 9:8% the part of the non-durable consumption drop that is associated with retirement induced by eligibility. We show that such fall is not driven by liquidity problems for the less well off in the population, and can be accounted for by drops in goods that are work-related expenses or leisure substitutes. However, we also show that retirement induces a significant drop in the number of grown children living with their parents, and this can account for most of the retirement consumption drop.

Suggested Citation

  • Erich Battistin & Agar Brugiavini & Enrico Rettore & Guglielmo Weber, 2008. "The retirement consumption puzzle: evidence from a regression discontinuity approach," IFS Working Papers W08/05, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:08/05
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumption; regression discontinuity design; retirement;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics
    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment

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