IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The role of health insurance in joint retirement among married couples


  • Kanika Kapur
  • Jeannette Rogowski


This paper examines the role of employer provided health insurance in the retirement decisions of dual working couples. The near elderly have high-expected medical expenditures; therefore, availability of health insurance is an important factor in their retirement decisions. We determine if access to retiree health insurance for early retirement enables couples to time their retirement together – a behavior called “joint retirement.” We find that wives’ retiree health insurance more than doubles the propensity to retire jointly, suggesting that health insurance is an important consideration in coordinating retirement decisions among couples. Even though retiree health insurance has a substantial effect on joint retirement, its effect on overall employment patterns is modest, accounting for a 2 percentage point fall in employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Kanika Kapur & Jeannette Rogowski, 2006. "The role of health insurance in joint retirement among married couples," Working Papers 200614, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200614

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2006
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Donna B. Gilleskie & David M. Blau, 2006. "Health insurance and retirement of married couples," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(7), pages 935-953.
    2. 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.
    3. Michael D. Hurd, 1990. "The Joint Retirement Decision of Husbands and Wives," NBER Chapters,in: Issues in the Economics of Aging, pages 231-258 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1994. "Retirement in a Family Context: A Structural Model for Husbands and Wives," NBER Working Papers 4629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Bradley Heim & Ithai Lurie & Kosali Simon, 2017. "Did the Affordable Care Act Young Adult Provision Affect Labor Market Outcomes? Analysis Using Tax Data," NBER Working Papers 23471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Joshua Congdon-Hohman, 2015. "Love, Toil, And Health Insurance: Why American Husbands Retire When They Do," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(1), pages 118-140, January.
    3. Bender, Keith A. & Mavromaras, Kostas G. & Theodossiou, Ioannis & Wei, Zhang, 2014. "The Effect of Wealth and Earned Income on the Decision to Retire: A Dynamic Probit Examination of Retirement," IZA Discussion Papers 7927, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Stancanelli, Elena G. F., 2012. "Spouses' Retirement and Hours Outcomes: Evidence from Twofold Regression Discontinuity with Differences-in-Differences," IZA Discussion Papers 6791, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Elena Stancanelli, 2012. "Spouses' Retirement and Hours of Work Outcomes: Evidence from Twofold Regression Discontinuity," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 12074, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    6. Olsson, Martin & Skogman Thoursie, Peter, 2010. "Insured by the partner?," Working Paper Series 2010:3, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    7. David Yaskewich, 2015. "Dependent Health Insurance Laws and College Enrollment: Is There Evidence of College Lock?," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 36(4), pages 557-569, December.
    8. Stancanelli, Elena G. F., 2016. "Couples' Retirement under Individual Pension Design: A Regression Discontinuity Study for France," IZA Discussion Papers 10322, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. James Marton & Stephen A. Woodbury, 2013. "Retiree Health Benefits as Deferred Compensation," Public Finance Review, , vol. 41(1), pages 64-91, January.
    10. repec:spr:jlabre:v:38:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s12122-017-9258-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Dhaval Dave & Sandra L. Decker & Robert Kaestner & Kosali I. Simon, 2015. "The Effect of Medicaid Expansions in the Late 1980s and Early 1990s on the Labor Supply of Pregnant Women," American Journal of Health Economics, MIT Press, vol. 1(2), pages 165-193, Spring.
    12. repec:kap:itaxpf:v:24:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10797-016-9427-y is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:eee:joecag:v:6:y:2015:i:c:p:149-162 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Hanne Preter & Dorien Looy & Dimitri Mortelmans, 2015. "Retirement Timing of Dual-Earner Couples in 11 European Countries? A Comparison of Cox and Shared Frailty Models," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 396-407, September.
    15. Diana Warren, 2013. "Retirement Decisions of Couples: The Impact of Spousal Characteristics and Preferences on the Timing of Retirement," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2013n41, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.

    More about this item


    Retirement; Health insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200614. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Nicolas Clifton). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.