Spousal influence on the retirement decisions of single-earner and dual-earner couples
Faculty of Social Sciences. Sociology
Advances in life course research. - Stanford, Conn., 2000, currens
, p. 112-123
University of Antwerp
This article explores the influence of the spouse or partner on individual retirement decisions. Event history analysis is used to study the effects of age, education, health, income, the activity status of the partner and care-taking needs of children or dependents on retirement decisions, controlling for several personal characteristics and country differences. Given the family context, a division was made between single-earner and dual-earner couples. Data were drawn from the European Community Household Panel (ECHP) which presents longitudinal data for the period 19942001. Although individual determinants still dominate the retirement decisions of both single-earner and dualearner couples, the results show that the family context in which labour-market decisions are made is important to understand the retirement process. An age gap between the spouses decreases the hazard of retirement. Higher levels of education also decrease the odds on retirement (or early retirement) for dual-earner households. The ECHP data moreover confirm the importance of subjective and objective health measures on the retirement decisions of spouses. With regard to the number of working hours, male dualearners who work full-time stay in the labour market longer than do men who work parttime. Finally, care activities have a positive effect on the retirement decision of both men and women in single-earner and dual-earner households.