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Leisure and Housing Consumption after Retirement: New Evidence on the Life-Cycle Hypothesis

Sven Schreiber and Miriam Beblo

VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change from Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association

Abstract: We revisit the alleged retirement consumption puzzle. According to the life-cycle theory, foreseeable income reductions such as those around retirement should not affect consumption. However, we first recall that given higher leisure endowments after retirement, the theory does predict a fall of total market consumption expenditures. In order not to mistake this predicted drop for a puzzle we focus on housing consumption which can be plausibly regarded as complementary to leisure, and we control for the leisure change in our empirical specifications, using micro data for Germany (SOEP), where housing expenditures are observable as rents for the majority (60%), as well as dwelling relocations. We still find significant negative impacts of the retirement status on housing consumption, which is hard to reconcile with the life-cycle theory. For retirees we also find significant effects of the income reduction at retirement on housing. However, the effects are small in quantitative terms, given the lock-in nature of past housing decisions.

JEL-codes: D91 E21 J22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age, nep-mac and nep-ure
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Related works:
Working Paper: Leisure and Housing Consumption after Retirement: New Evidence on the Life-Cycle Hypothesis (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Leisure and housing consumption after retirement: New evidence on the life-cycle hypothesis (2016) Downloads
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