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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. Richard Blundell & Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Thierry Magnac & Costas Meghir, 2002. "Collective Labor Supply: Heterogeneity and Nonparticipation," Research Unit Working Papers 0210, Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Michael D. Hurd, 1988. "The Joint Retirement Decision of Husbands and Wives," NBER Working Papers 2803, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Browning, M. & Bourguignon, F. & Chiappori, P.A. & Lechene, V., 1992. "Incomes and Outcomes: A structural Model of Intra-Household Allocation," DELTA Working Papers 92-23, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  6. Sickles, Robin C & Taubman, Paul, 1986. "An Analysis of the Health and Retirement Status of the Elderly," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(6), pages 1339-56, November.
  7. Blau, David M, 1994. "Labor Force Dynamics of Older Men," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 117-56, January.
  8. Blau, David M. & Riphahn, Regina T., 1998. "Labor Force Transitions of Older Married Couples in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 5, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. 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.
  10. Bound, John & Schoenbaum, Michael & Stinebrickner, Todd R. & Waidmann, Timothy, 1999. "The dynamic effects of health on the labor force transitions of older workers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 179-202, June.
  11. Debra Sabatini Dwyer & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1998. "Health Problems as Determinants of Retirement: Are Self-Rated Measures Endogenous?," NBER Working Papers 6503, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  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. Diamond, P. A. & Hausman, J. A., 1984. "Individual retirement and savings behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 81-114.
  15. Berkovec, James & Stern, Steven, 1991. "Job Exit Behavior of Older Men," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 189-210, January.
  16. 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.
  17. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Social Security and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 7830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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