The Great Recession, Housing Wealth, and the Retirement Decisions of Older Workers

Jan Ondrich, Alexander Falevich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


To determine how asset values of older workers affect their future retirement decisions, it is important to take into account how asset values change over asset cycles. This study uses Health and Retirement Study data from waves 1992 through 2010 together with restricted Social Security Administration data on respondents’ occupation to estimate models of the age at first self-reported retirement for the subsample of married males. The model covariates include demographic variables, workplace variables, nonhousing financial wealth, and housing equity. The proportional hazard estimates are, for the most part, significant and of the correct sign. The estimated models suggest that declines in housing wealth during the Great Recession lowered retirement probabilities of married males by as much as 14 percent to 17 percent. This delay was offset in cases where the household had defined benefit or contribution pensions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-131
Number of pages23
JournalPublic Finance Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Great Recession
  • Housing wealth
  • Retirement
  • Retirement wealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Public Administration


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