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Divorcing Upon Retirement: A Regression Discontinuity Study

  • Stancanelli, Elena G. F.

    ()

    (CNRS, Sorbonne Economics Research Center (CES))

The many facets of retirement have been studied widely by economists. However, the effect of retirement on marriage stability has been ignored in the literature. Retirement represents a dramatic change in individual time allocation that may affect marriage stability. In particular, individuals that grew up in traditional households in which the father did little domestic work and both spouses worked very long hours such as farmer household may find their marriage especially proven by the transition into retirement. We study the effect of retirement on marriage outburst rates using observations on over 200 000 French men and over 166 000 French women aged 50 to 70, drawn from the French Labor Force Surveys over the period 1990 to 2002. Due to reverse causality concerns, we instrument retirement in our divorce model by exploiting legal retirement age in France and applying a regression discontinuity approach. We find a significant increase in divorce rates which soar and almost double upon retirement for individuals of either gender that grew up in a traditional family environment such as a farmer household.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 8117.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8117
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  1. Bruce D. Meyer & Wallace K. C. Mok, 2006. "Disability, Earnings, Income and Consumption," Working Papers 0610, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  2. Elena Stancanelli & Arthur Van Soest, 2011. "Retirement and home production : A regression discontinuity approach," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2011-28, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  3. Didier Blanchet & Louis-Paul Pele, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement in France," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 101-133 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Stevenson, Betsey & Wolfers, Justin, 2007. "Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces," CEPR Discussion Papers 6144, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299, November.
  6. Nicolas Moreau & Elena Stancanelli, 2013. "Household Consumption at Retirement: A Regression Discontinuity Study on French," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 13072, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  7. Gopi Shah Goda & John Shoven & Sita Nataraj Slavov, 2009. "Social Security and the Timing of Divorce," Discussion Papers 08-057, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  8. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
  9. Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2008. "Regression-Discontinuity Analysis: A Survey of Recent Developments in Economics," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 22(2), pages 219-245, 06.
  10. Michael Burda & Daniel Hamermesh & Philippe Weil, 2013. "Total work and gender: facts and possible explanations," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 239-261, January.
  11. Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2002. "Estimating the Effect of Financial Aid Offers on College Enrollment: A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1249-1287, November.
  12. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
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