Time devoted to home production and retirement in couples: A panel data analysis

We analyse the effects of retirement of one partner on time devoted to home production by both partners in a couple. Using longitudinal data on couples in Germany, we control for fixed household specific effects and allow for endogeneity of retirement using both a regression discontinuity approach and variation in the early and full retirement age across cohorts and with labour market history. Furthermore, we separately estimate the effect of retirement and the effect of lay-off due to an exogenous shock (i.e. plant closure) for each spouse. For both men and women, a transition from work to retirement significantly increases the amount of their own home production. Similar effects are found for other (layoff induced) exits from work. We find much smaller negative cross-effects of retirement or other exits from work on time spent on home production done by the male partner; the effect of the husband’s retirement on the wife’s home production is not statistically significant.

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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