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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Essays on the economics of aging and housing Kei, Wendy Wai Yee


This dissertation uses three different studies to explore the impact of household finance on elderly households’ labour market activities. Chapter 1 provides an introduction. Chapter 2 uses the eligibility requirements of the Canadian Old Age Security (OAS) program as a novel approach to estimate a causal effect of public pensions on elderly immigrants’ labour supply decisions. I also evaluate the extent to which these individuals may adjust their labour supply behaviour prior to the receipt of public pension entitlements. The findings in this chapter illustrate that seniors only respond to the OAS benefits with a decrease in labour force participation rates. A combination of estimates implies that elderly immigrants may exhibit behavioural response in anticipation for OAS benefits. Chapter 3 investigates the effect of immigration on mobility decisions of native-born near-retirees. The research findings in this chapter push this area of literature forward by suggesting an alternative perspective for explaining native out-migration. The heterogeneity in mobility preferences across dwelling tenure groups is an important result because it may explain why Card (2001) fails to find any significant effect from immigration on aggregate native relocation decisions. Finally, Chapter 4 explores how the recent house price shock in the U.S. affected the labour supply decisions of near-retirees. This is the first study to use the national lending conditions for residential mortgage series as part of an instrumental variable strategy to explore this context. The final chapter sheds light by showing that housing exerts insignificant impact on the near-retirees’ work and retirement decisions.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International