What Happens to the Husband's Retirement Decision When the Wife's Retirement Incentives Change?

43 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2012

See all articles by Hakan Selin

Hakan Selin

Uppsala University - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: March 30, 2012

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, I 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. I 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, I do not find any evidence of a response among husbands. This finding is at odds with most earlier results in the literature.

Keywords: joint retirement, retirement age, occupational pensions

JEL Classification: H550, J130, J210

Suggested Citation

Selin, Hakan, What Happens to the Husband's Retirement Decision When the Wife's Retirement Incentives Change? (March 30, 2012). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 3772, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2034233 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2034233

Hakan Selin (Contact Author)

Uppsala University - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 513
SE-75120 Uppsala
Sweden

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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