Joint Leisure Before and After Retirement: a double Regression Discontinuity Approach
The economic litterature on retirement argues that individuals in a couple tend to retire at a choice time because of externalities in leisure. Ealier studies dit not investigate the extent to which partners actually spend more leisure time together upon retiring. Exploiting the law on early retirement age in France, we use a regression discontinuity approach to identify the causal effect of retirement on hours of leisure, separate and together, of the man and woman in a couple. We use a sample of couples drawn from a French Time Use Survey for the analysis. Using four different definitions of joint leisure, we conclude that generally both separate and joint leisure hours of partners increase significantly upon own retirement. In particular, the hours of leisure spent together by the couple increase on average by about an hour and a half per day upon wife's retirement and by less than an hour upon husband's retirement. The positive effect of partners' retirement on joint leisure is close in size to that on separate leisure or house work hours of partners.
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