Joint retirement for couples: Evidence from a natural experiment

We estimate and explain the impact of early retirement of husbands on the wives’ probability to retire within one year, using administrative micro panel data that cover the whole Dutch population. We employ an instrumental variable approach in which retirement choice of husbands is instrumented with eligibility rules for generous early retirement benefits that were temporarily and unexpectedly available. The empirical model explains wives’
probability to retire within one year. We find that early retirement opportunity of husbands increased the wives’ probability to retire within one year by 25.4 percentage points. This is a strong effect. Our results are robust to several sensitivity tests.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.


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