Working Paper Series, Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies, Department of Economics, Uppsala University
What happens to the husband’s retirement decision when the wife’s retirement incentives change?
Abstract: Several studies have documented a strong correlation in
the timing of spouses’ retirement decisions. However, considerably less is
known about the causal impact of one spouse’s retirement incentives on the
retirement decision of the other spouse. Before, but not after, 2001 broad
categories of Swedish local government workers in female dominated
occupations were entitled to retire with full pension benefits already at
the age of 63. In this paper, we utilize this reform – together with a
micro data set covering the total Swedish population – to estimate the
effect of a change in the wife’s incentive on the husband’s retirement
behavior. We document a sharp decrease in pension benefit withdrawals among
63 year old wives in the local government sector in the years following the
reform. However, we do not find any evidence of a response among husbands.
This finding is at odds with some earlier results in the literature.
Keywords: Joint retirement; retirement age; occupational pensions; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: H55; J13; J21; (follow links to similar papers)
37 pages, July 11, 2011
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