Habit Formation and Labour Supply

18 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2008

See all articles by Helmuth Cremer

Helmuth Cremer

University of Toulouse (GREMAQ & IDEI); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Philippe De Donder

University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE)

Dario Maldonado

Universidad del Rosario - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Pierre Pestieau

University of Liège - Research Center on Public and Population Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE)

Date Written: April 2008

Abstract

This paper shows that the combination of habit formation - present consumption creating additional consumption needs in the future - and myopia may explain why some retirees are forced to 'unretire', i.e., unexpectedly return to work. It also shows that when myopia about habit formation leads to unretirement there is a case for government's intervention. In a first-best setting the optimal solution can be decentralized by a simple 'Pigouvian' (paternalistic) consumption tax (along with suitable lump-sum taxes). In a second-best setting, when personalized lump-sum transfers are not available, consumption taxes may have conflicting paternalistic and redistributive effects. We study the design of consumption taxes in such a setting when myopic individuals differ in productivity.

Keywords: Habit formation, Myopia, Unretiring

JEL Classification: D91, H21, H55

Suggested Citation

Cremer, Helmuth and De Donder, Philippe and Maldonado, Dario and Pestieau, Pierre, Habit Formation and Labour Supply (April 2008). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP6776, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1141681

Helmuth Cremer (Contact Author)

University of Toulouse (GREMAQ & IDEI) ( email )

Toulouse, 31000
France
+33 1 6112 8606 (Phone)
+33 1 6112 8637 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Philippe De Donder

University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) ( email )

Place Anatole-France
Toulouse Cedex, F-31042
France

Dario Maldonado

Universidad del Rosario - Department of Economics ( email )

Casa Pedro Fermín
Calle 14 # 4-69
Bogota
Colombia

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Pierre Pestieau

University of Liège - Research Center on Public and Population Economics ( email )

Boulevard du Rectorat, 7, Batiment 31
Sart-Tilman
B-4000 Liege, 4000
Belgium
+32 4 366 3108 (Phone)
+32 4 366 3106 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) ( email )

34 Vopie Roman Pays
Louvain la Neuve
Belgium

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