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Pappa Ante Portas: The Retired Husband Syndrome in Japan

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  • Marco Bertoni

    () (University of Padova)

  • Giorgio Brunello

    () (University of Padova)

Abstract

The "Retired Husband Syndrome", that affects the mental health of wives of retired men around the world, has been anecdotally documented but never formally investigated. We use Japanese micro data and the exogenous variation generated by the 2006 revision of the Japanese Elderly Employment Stabilization Law, which mandated employers to guarantee continuous employment between mandatory retirement age and full pension eligibility age, to estimate the causal effect of the husbandÕs retirement on the wifeÕs mental health. We find that adding one year to the time spent in retirement by Japanese husbands increases the probability that their wives develop the syndrome by 5.8 to 13.7 percentage points, depending on the empirical specification. We discuss mechanisms at work and argue that Ð ceteris paribus Ð increasing female labour force participation might exacerbate rather than attenuate the phenomenon.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Bertoni & Giorgio Brunello, 2014. "Pappa Ante Portas: The Retired Husband Syndrome in Japan," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0182, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  • Handle: RePEc:pad:wpaper:0182
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Müller, Tobias & Shaikh, Mujaheed, 2016. "Your Retirement and My Health Behaviour: Evidence on Retirement Externalities from a Fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Design," MPRA Paper 70843, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Florian Engl & Arno Riedl & Roberto A. Weber, 2017. "Spillover Effects of Institutions on Cooperative Behavior, Preferences, and Beliefs," CESifo Working Paper Series 6504, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Engl, Florian & Riedl, Arno & Weber, Roberto A., 2016. "Spillover Effects of Institutions on Cooperative Behavior, Preferences, and Beliefs," Research Memorandum 016, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    4. Bertoni, Marco & Brunello, Giorgio & Mazzarella, Gianluca, 2018. "Does postponing minimum retirement age improve healthy behaviors before retirement? Evidence from middle-aged Italian workers," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 215-227.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    retirement; pension reforms; couples; stress; depression; Japan.;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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