Thesis: Pension systems, couples and gender inequalities in retirement
Surpervisors: Carole Bonnet, Anne Lavigne et Dominique Meurs
Abstract: This thesis seeks to contribute to our understanding of gender inequalities in retirement. Because of the gendered division of social roles within couples, women have less advantageous careers and hence unequal pension rights. Drawing from an empirical approach and the analysis of administrative data, this thesis investigates gender inequalities in retirement beyond the gender pension gap and assesses the role of conjugal pension rights (survivor benefits) in these inequalities.
The first introductory section describes the French situation with regard to survivor benefits. The second part focuses on retirement duration as a component of gender inequalities. Chapter 2 proposes a measure of retirement duration as a widow(er). Chapter 3 analyzes the differences in retirement decisions between women and men. Retirement duration is very heterogeneous among retirees. Low-income widows spend more years in widowhood. Moreover, women and men do not make the same retirement decisions because men are more sensitive to financial incentives. Finally, the third part of this thesis evaluates two reforms of conjugal pension rights. Chapter 4 focuses on a French reform aiming to maintain survivors’ monetary standard of living following their spouse’s death. Chapter 5 looks into a Dutch reform in order to investigate the consequences of the elimination of survivor benefits schemes on working-age widows’ labor supply. Survivor benefits do not currently maintain survivors’ standard of living for low-income widows, while they overcompensate it for the others. Eliminating this scheme would increase the working-age widows’ labor supply but would also increase the take-up of other social benefits.
Keywords: Pension systems, Gender pension gap, Survivor benefits, Widowhood, Labor supply, Policy evaluation.
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– Bonnet, C., Bozio, A., Tô, M. & Tréguier, J. (2020). ‘Changes in survivors’ pensions: A initial approach to redistributive effects’, Retraite et Société, 83, pp.21–49.
– Duc, C., Martin, H. & Tréguier, J. (2016). ‘Pension reforms in France since 2010: Impacts on inter- and intra-generational inequalities’, Économie et prévision, 213, pp.85–120.
– Affiliated PH.D candidate at the Institute for Public Policies (IPP).
– French team member of International Social Security (ISS) project, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
– 2021-2022: tutorials in applied econometrics, graduate (1st year), Ensai.
– 2021-2022: tutorials in statistics, undergraduate (2nd year), University of Paris.