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Retirement Incentives and Couples' Retirement Decisions

  • Courtney Coile

The typical family in the US is now a dual-earner couple, yet relatively few studies examine the retirement decision in a household context. This paper explores how husbands' and wives' retirement behavior is influenced by their own financial incentives from Social Security and private pensions and by spillover effects' from their spouses' incentives. I find that men and women are similarly responsive to their own incentives. I further find that men are very responsive to their wives' incentives but that women are not responsive to their husbands' incentives and present evidence to suggest that this may be due to asymmetric complementarities of leisure. Policy simulations suggest that the omission of spillover effects will bias the estimated effect of changing Social Security policy on men's labor force participation.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9496.

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Date of creation: Feb 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Coile Courtney, 2004. "Retirement Incentives and Couples' Retirement Decisions," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-30, July.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9496
Note: AG LS PE
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  1. Gustman, Alan L. & Steinmeier, Thomas L., 2005. "The social security early entitlement age in a structural model of retirement and wealth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 441-463, February.
  2. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Social Security Incentives for Retirement," NBER Working Papers 7651, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Courtney Coile & Peter Diamond & Jonathan Gruber & Alain Jousten, 1999. "Delays in Claiming Social Security Benefits," NBER Working Papers 7318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. James H. Stock & David A. Wise, 1988. "The Pension Inducement to Retire: An Option Value Analysis," NBER Working Papers 2660, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jerry A. Hausman & David A. Wise, 1985. "Social Security, Health Status, and Retirement," NBER Chapters, in: Pensions, Labor, and Individual Choice, pages 159-192 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Joseph F. Quinn, 1999. "Has the Early Retirement Trend Reversed?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 424, Boston College Department of Economics.
  8. Peter Diamond, 2004. "Social Security," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 1-24, March.
  9. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 2004. "Social security, pensions and retirement behaviour within the family," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 723-737.
  10. Haider, S. & Solon, G., 2000. "Nonrandom Selection in the HRS Social Security Earnings Sample," Papers 00-01, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  11. Michael Baker, 2002. "The Retirement Behavior of Married Couples: Evidence from the Spouse's Allowance," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(1), pages 1-34.
  12. Michael J. Boskin & Michael D. Hurd, 1977. "The Effect of Social Security on Early Retirement," NBER Working Papers 0204, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Samwick, Andrew A., 1998. "New evidence on pensions, social security, and the timing of retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 207-236, November.
  14. Michael D. Hurd, 1988. "The Joint Retirement Decision of Husbands and Wives," NBER Working Papers 2803, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Burtless, Gary, 1986. "Social Security, Unanticipated Benefit Increases, and the Timing of Retirement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(5), pages 781-805, October.
  16. Gary S. Fields & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1982. "Economic Determinants of the Optimal Retirement Age: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 0876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Vistnes, Jessica Primoff, 1994. "An Empirical Analysis of Married Women's Retirement Decisions," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(1), pages 135-55, March.
  18. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1990. "Bridge Jobs and Partial Retirement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(4), pages 482-501, October.
  19. Silvana Pozzebon & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1986. "Married Women's Retirement Behavior," NBER Working Papers 2104, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. 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.
  21. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Social Security and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 7830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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