The effect of inheritance receipt on retirement

Jeffrey R. Brown, Courtney C. Coile, Scott J. Weisbenner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper provides new evidence on how wealth shocks influence retirement behavior. Economic theory generally posits that leisure is a normal good, yet it is difficult to obtain reliable empirical estimates of the wealth effect because wealth is correlated with numerous unobservable characteristics that affect labor supply. We use inheritance receipt as a wealth shock and find that it is associated with a significant increase in the probability of retirement, especially when the inheritance is unexpected. This evidence has important implications for how public policies, such as pension or tax reform, may influence retirement behavior through the wealth effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-434
Number of pages10
JournalReview of Economics and Statistics
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of inheritance receipt on retirement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this