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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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  11. 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.
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  17. 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.
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  21. Diamond, P. A. & Hausman, J. A., 1984. "Individual retirement and savings behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 81-114.
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