Time to Cook: Expenditure at Retirement in Spain


  • Corresponding author: Almudena Sevilla, Queen Mary University of London, Francis Bancroft Building, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, UK. Email: a.sevilla@qmul.ac.uk.

  • We thank Jörn-Steffen Pischke and two anonymous referees for detailed, helpful comments. We also thank Emma Aguila, Martin Browning, Bent Sorensen, Shelly Lundberg, and seminar participants at the Bank of Spain, the University of Bristol, the Conference of the Royal Economic Society, the Spanish Economic Society Meetings, and the Microeconometric Network at the University of Copenhagen. This article has been benefited from funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (Grant Number RES-060-25-0037) and the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science (Project ECO2008-01297).


Detailed panel expenditure data from Spain reveal little evidence of a retirement consumption puzzle in 1985–2004. There is a drop in food at home expenditure in the later years of the sample along with evidence of households paying lower prices for the food they purchase after retirement. However, our findings are consistent with a model that allows for home production as long as one accounts for the greater participation in housework by men after retirement coinciding with this latter period. Our work adds to the evidence from several countries and helps in reconciling the retirement consumption puzzle with life-cycle models.