Retirement, Social Support and Mental Wellbeing: A Couple-Level Analysis

54 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2020

See all articles by Nathan Kettlewell

Nathan Kettlewell

University of Sydney

Jack Lam

University of Queensland - Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR)

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Abstract

Social support is increasingly acknowledged as an important resource for promoting wellbeing. We test whether social support changes around retirement. We also examine whether social support moderates dynamics in mental wellbeing around retirement and consider both own and spouse's retirement. Using longitudinal data from Australia, we find little effect of own or spouse's retirement on social support. However, in fixed-effects models, dynamics in mental wellbeing are significantly different between those with low/high social support. Using pension eligibility as an instrument, we find that own retirement causally improves mental wellbeing for women (weaker evidence for men) and by a similar degree for those with low/high social support. We also estimate responses to life satisfaction and find evidence that spill-over benefits from spousal retirement are much larger for individuals with low social support.

Keywords: retirement, social support, Australia, couples, mental wellbeing

JEL Classification: I10, H55, J14, J26

Suggested Citation

Kettlewell, Nathan and Lam, Jack, Retirement, Social Support and Mental Wellbeing: A Couple-Level Analysis. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13403, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3636632

Nathan Kettlewell (Contact Author)

University of Sydney ( email )

Rm 370 Merewether (H04)
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006 2008
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/economics/staff/profiles/nathan.kettlewell.php

Jack Lam

University of Queensland - Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) ( email )

North 3 (Bldg 39A)
St Lucia, Queensland QLD 4072
Australia

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