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Health status and retirement decisions for older European couples

  • Jiménez-Martín, Sergi

    (Universidad Carlos III, Madrid)

  • Labeaga, José M.

    (UNED, Madrid)

  • Martínez Granado, Maite

    (Universidad Carlos III, Madrid)

In this paper we use data the European Community Household Panel (ECHP) to describe and analyse the dynamics of joint labour force behaviour of older couples for the EU12 countries. We focus on three main issues: the relevance of joint retirement across EU12 countries, the existence of complementarities in leisure and/or assortative matting and the effects of health variables. Concerning the evidence, we first find that a working spouse is more likely to retire the more recently the other spouse has retired; this effect is stronger if the wife is the working spouse. Second, there is evidence of assortative mating and/or complementarities in leisure; the effects of all relevant factors on the retirement decision of one spouse depend strongly on whether the other one is working, unemployed, or retired. Third, besides the standard evidence that poor health increases the retirement probability, we find that the husband's health affects the couple's retirement decisions much more strongly than the wife's health does. Additional asymmetric effects are detected with respect to income related variables.

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Paper provided by IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD in its series IRISS Working Paper Series with number 1999-01.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Oct 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:irs:iriswp:1999-01
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  1. Dwyer, Debra Sabatini & Mitchell, Olivia S., 1999. "Health problems as determinants of retirement: Are self-rated measures endogenous?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 173-193, April.
  2. Browning, Martin & Francois Bourguignon & Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Valerie Lechene, 1994. "Income and Outcomes: A Structural Model of Intrahousehold Allocation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1067-96, December.
  3. Blundell, Richard & Chiappori, Pierre-André & Magnac, Thierry & Meghir, Costas, 2005. "Collective Labour Supply: Heterogeneity and Nonparticipation," IDEI Working Papers 373, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  4. Diamond, P. A. & Hausman, J. A., 1984. "Individual retirement and savings behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 81-114.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Michele Boldrin & Juan J. Dolado & Juan F. Jimeno & Franco Peracchi, 1999. "The future of pensions in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 14(29), pages 287-320, October.
  8. Michael D. Hurd, 1988. "The Joint Retirement Decision of Husbands and Wives," NBER Working Papers 2803, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. John Bound & Michael Schoenbaum & Todd R. Stinebrickner & Timothy Waidmann, 1998. "The Dynamic Effects of Health on the Labor Force Transitions of Older Workers," NBER Working Papers 6777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Blau, David M, 1994. "Labor Force Dynamics of Older Men," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 117-56, January.
  11. Robin C. Sickles & Paul J. Taubman, 1984. "An Analysis of the Health and Retirement Status of the Elderly," NBER Working Papers 1459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Berkovec, James & Stern, Steven, 1991. "Job Exit Behavior of Older Men," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 189-210, January.
  13. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1994. "Retirement in a Family Context: A Structural Model for Husbands and Wives," NBER Working Papers 4629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Social Security and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 7830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Kathryn H. Anderson & Richard V. Burkhauser, 1985. "The Retirement-Health Nexus: A New Measure of an Old Puzzle," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(3), pages 315-330.
  16. Blau, David & Riphahn, Regina, 1998. "Labour Force transitions of Older Married Couples in Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 1911, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Hiedemann, Bridget, 1998. "A Stackelberg model of Social Security acceptance decisions in dual career households," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 263-278, February.
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