Discussion Papers, Forschungszentrum Generationenverträge der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg 60
Traditionally, households have been seen as acting as a single unit when it comes to savings. Although this might be correct for some parts of household savings, we question the correctness of the unitary model with respect to non-mandatory retirement savings. To answer this question we analyze the intra-household allocation of retirement savings between partners in Germany. First, the decision to save at all is analyzed using a seemingly unrelated bivariate probit model, showing that the possession of retirement saving accounts among spouses is positively correlated, hinting at a 'crowding-in' of saving accounts. However, this could be only due to some tax reasons. Thus, we analyze additionally the interaction of savings between spouses using three-stage least squares, allowing for endogeneity between the spouse's savings. These results additionally show a 'crowding-in' of total retirement saving amounts between spouses, probably due to some 'recognition effect'. The unitary model of household decision making can thus be rejected with respect to retirement savings.
savings intra-household allocation retirement life-cycle unitary model household decision three-stage least squares