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|Title:||Involuntary Retirement and the Resolution of the Retirement-Consumption Puzzle: Evidence from Australia|
|Authors:||Barrett, Garry F.|
|Publisher:||Department of Economics|
|Abstract:||A substantial body of international research has shown that household expenditure on food and non-durables significantly decreases at the time of retirement - a finding that is inconsistent with the standard life-cycle model of consumption if retirement is an anticipated event. This fall in expenditure has become known as the `retirement-consumption puzzle.' We analyze rich Australian panel data to assess the Australian evidence on the puzzle. We find strong evidence of a fall in expenditures on groceries, food consumed at home and outside meals with retirement. The observed decline in expenditure is explained by a subset of households experiencing an unanticipated wealth shock, such as a major health event or long-term job loss, at the time of retirement. This finding is corroborated by an analysis of alternative measures of household well-being, including indicators of financial hardship, and self-reported financial and life satisfaction. For the majority of households retirement is anticipated and there is no decline in economic welfare at retirement. However, for an important minority, retirement is `involuntary' and these households experience a marked decline across all indicators of economic well-being.|
|Appears in Collections:||Working Papers - Economics|
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