Labor Force Transitions of Older Married Couples in Germany

CEPR Discussion Paper Series No. 1911

Posted: 23 Dec 1998

See all articles by David M. Blau

David M. Blau

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Regina T. Riphahn

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg-Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: June 1998

Abstract

This study investigates the labor force behavior of older married couples in Germany. Monthly observations from the first 11 waves of the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) are used to describe and analyze the relationship between the labor force behavior of husbands and wives. The empirical model is a discrete time, competing risks hazard model of transitions among labor force states defined by the employment status of both spouses. The analysis indicates that the probability of one spouse exiting employment is much larger if the other spouse is not employed than if the other spouse is employed. Similarly, one member of a couple is much more likely to enter employment if the spouse is employed than if the spouse is not employed. Observed covariates, including wages and retirement benefits, help to explain these patterns, but unobserved preferences for shared leisure also appear to play an important role.

JEL Classification: H55, J26

Suggested Citation

Blau, David M. and Riphahn, Regina T., Labor Force Transitions of Older Married Couples in Germany (June 1998). CEPR Discussion Paper Series No. 1911, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=137231

David M. Blau (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Economics ( email )

Gardner Hall
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States
919-966-3962 (Phone)
919-966-4986 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Regina T. Riphahn

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg-Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg - Department of Economics ( email )

Lange Gasse 20
Nuernberg, D-90403
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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