Habit Formation and Labor Supply

20 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 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: July 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 Labor Supply (July 2008). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 2351, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1159702

Helmuth Cremer

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 (Contact Author)

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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