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Women Working LongerIncreased Employment at Older Ages$
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Claudia Goldin and Lawrence F. Katz

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226532509

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226532646.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 21 October 2019

The Return to Work and Women’s Employment Decisions

The Return to Work and Women’s Employment Decisions

Chapter:
(p.55) 2 The Return to Work and Women’s Employment Decisions
Source:
Women Working Longer
Author(s):

Nicole Maestas

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226532646.003.0003

It is well documented that individuals in couples tend to retire around the same time. But because women tend to marry older men, this means many married women retire at younger ages than their husbands. This fact is somewhat at odds with lifecycle theory that suggests women might otherwise retire at later ages than men because they have longer life expectancies, and often have had shorter careers on account of childrearing. As a result, the opportunity cost of retirement—in terms of foregone potential earnings and accruals to Social Security wealth—may be larger for married women than for their husbands. Using the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), I find evidence that the returns to additional work beyond mid-life are greater for married women than for married men. The potential gain in Social Security wealth alone is enough to place married women on nearly equal footing with married men in terms of Social Security wealth at age 70.

Keywords:   retirement, married women, couple retirement, lifecycle employment, Social Security wealth, Health and Retirement study

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