Social Security and Couples' Joint Retirement Decisions in Brazil

Bernardo L. Queiroz, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

In recent years, a large number of studies investigated the relationship between social security benefits and male retirement decisions in developed countries. However, couples' retirement decisions and the patterns of retirement in emerging economies are much less studied. This paper uses Brazilian data to examine how social security financial incentives and personal characteristics affect one's own and spouse's retirement decisions. I find that couples synchronize retirement, and that they respond similarly to their own characteristics. Moreover, I find that wives are more responsive to husbands' incentives than vice-versa. Policy simulations show that equalizing male and female normal retirement ages would have a large impact on male retirement but a small direct impact on female retirement.

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Presented in Session 5: Aging in Developing Countries