- Paris School of Economics
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Polo Santa Marta, Via Cantarane 24, Stanza 1.59
Because over 70 per cent of older individuals lives in a couple, it is relevant to investigate spouses' retirement strategies. We study a French pension reform targeted at individuals born in 1934 and later years, and apply a sharp regression discontinuity framework. We use panel data on roughly fifty thousand French couples and estimate both local polynomial and parametric regression discontinuity models. We conclude that the reform encouraged spouses to retire later, as expected, but it also increased slightly the probability of being unemployed for the husband and a "housewife" for the wife. We also find a significant, though small, increase in the unemployment probability of women married to a man affected by the reform. There is little evidence of joint retirement of spouses, a finding which is confirmed also when instrumenting spousal retirement with legal retirement age. We show that joint retirement patterns are essentially driven by the age difference between spouses.