Partners’ leisure time truly together upon retirement

Externalities in leisure are an important determinant of partners’ retirement strategies. This is the first study that quantifies the extent to which partners actually spend more leisure time ‘together’ upon retirement. Exploiting the law on retirement age in France, we apply a regression discontinuity approach to identify the effect of retirement on partners’ hours of leisure, separate or together. Usingfour different definitions of ‘togetherness’ of partners’ leisure hours, we find that the separate leisure demand of the husband increases dramatically upon his retirement and this effect isrobust to all sample cuts and specification checks. The wife’s retirement increases significantly her separate leisure demand as well as the partners’ joint leisure time. However, the latter effects are sensitive to the sample cut adopted. We conclude that upon controlling for the endogeneity of retirement in partners’ leisure demands, retirement increases only moderately the leisure time truly together of partners and by no more than other activities such as notably separate leisure or house work hours.

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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