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Does the Retirement Consumption Puzzle Differ Across the Distribution?

Author

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  • Fisher, Jonathan

    () (New York Census Research Data Center)

  • Marchand, Joseph

    () (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)

Abstract

Previous research has repeatedly found a puzzling one-time drop in the mean and median of consumption at retirement, contrary to the predictions of the life-cycle hypothesis. However, very little is known as to whether these effects vary across the consumption distribution. This study expands upon the previous work by examining changes in the consumption distribution between the non-retired and the retired using quantile regression techniques on pseudo-cohorts from the cross-sectional data of the 1990-2007 Consumer Expenditure Survey. The results indicate that there are insignificant changes between these groups at the lower end of the consumption distribution, while there are significant decreases at the higher end of this distribution. In addition, these changes in the distribution are gradually larger in magnitude when moving from the lower end to the higher end, which is found using several different measures of consumption. Work-related expenditures are instead shown to decrease uniformly across the consumption distribution. This evidence reveals that there is a progressive distributional component to the retirement consumption puzzle.

Suggested Citation

  • Fisher, Jonathan & Marchand, Joseph, 2010. "Does the Retirement Consumption Puzzle Differ Across the Distribution?," Working Papers 2010-20, University of Alberta, Department of Economics, revised 01 Jun 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:albaec:2010_020
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    1. repec:spr:izalbr:v:7:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1186_s40172-018-0062-y is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Kyureghian, Gayaneh & Soler, Louis-Georges, 2016. "Life Cycle Consumption of Food: Evidence from French Data," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 236785, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Ha Trong Nguyen, 2015. "The evolution of the gender test score gap through seventh grade: New insights from Australia using quantile regression and decomposition," Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre Working Paper series WP1507, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School.
    4. Huong Thu Le & Ha Trong Nguyen, 2018. "The evolution of the gender test score gap through seventh grade: new insights from Australia using unconditional quantile regression and decomposition," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 7(1), pages 1-42, December.
    5. Daniel Burkhard, 2015. "Consumption smoothing at retirement: average and quantile treatment effects in the regression discontinuity design," Diskussionsschriften dp1512, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    retirement; life-cycle model; household consumption;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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