Health Status and Retirement Decisions for Older European Couples

41 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2000

See all articles by Sergi Jimenez-Martin

Sergi Jimenez-Martin

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences

J. Maria Labeaga Azcona

Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia (UNED) - Faculty of Economics

Maite Martínez-Granado

University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis I; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Abstract

In this paper we use data from the European Community Household Panel (ECHP) to describe and analyse the dynamics of joint labour force behaviour of older couples for the EU12 countries. We focus on three main issues: the relevance of joint retirement across EU12 countries, the existence of complementarities in leisure and/or assortative matting and the effects of health variables. Concerning the evidence, we first find that a working spouse is more likely to retire the more recently the other spouse has retired; this effect is stronger if the wife is the working spouse. Second, there is evidence of assortative mating and/or complementarities in leisure; the effects of all relevant factors on the retirement decision of one spouse depend strongly on whether the other one is working, unemployed, or retired. Third, besides the standard evidence that poor health increases the retirement probability, we find that the husband's health affects the couple's retirement decisions much more strongly than the wife's health does. Additional asymmetric effects are detected with respect to income related variables.

JEL Classification: H55, J26

Suggested Citation

Jimenez-Martin, Sergi and Labeaga Azcona, José Maria and Martínez-Granado, Maite, Health Status and Retirement Decisions for Older European Couples. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=207188 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.207188

Sergi Jimenez-Martin

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain
(34) 93 542 16 67 (Phone)
(34) 93 542 17 46 (Fax)

José Maria Labeaga Azcona

Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia (UNED) - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Calle Senda del Rey, 11
28040 Madrid
Spain
+34 91 398 7811 (Phone)
+34 91 398 6339 (Fax)

Maite Martínez-Granado (Contact Author)

University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis I ( email )

Avda. Lehendakari Aguirre 83
48015 Bilbao
Spain

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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