Gibson, J., Le, T., Scobie, G. (2006). Household bargaining over wealth and the adequacy of women's retirement incomes in New Zealand. Feminist Economics, 12(1-2), 221-246.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/1866
Bargaining models of household wealth accumulation point to a potential conflict of interest between husbands and wives. Wives are typically younger than their husbands and have longer life expectancy, so they must expect to finance a longer retirement period. Therefore, when they have greater relative bargaining power, households will accumulate more wealth. There is some weak evidence for this in the United States, but this article finds the opposite pattern in New Zealand, where women's greater bargaining power results in a lower net worth in the pre-retirement cohort of couples. In New Zealand, where public pensions are more generous than in the US and are not affected by holdings of private wealth or income, it may not be rational for women with greater relative bargaining power than their spouses to favor wealth accumulation. These results indicate the importance of the policy context when considering household bargaining models.
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