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Elderly Immigrants' Labor Supply Response to Supplemental Security Income

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  • Neeraj Kaushal

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of changes in immigrant eligibility for Supplemental Security Income in 1996 on the employment and retirement behaviors of foreign-born elderly persons. I find that denial of SSI was associated with a 5 percentage point (15 percent) increase in the employment of non-citizen elderly men and a 5.6 percentage point (11 percent) decrease in their retirement rate. The estimated effects were higher for recent arrivals, a group most likely to be affected by the policy change. Further, while recent arrivals were more likely to increase part-time work, the earlier arrivals responded to the policy by increasing full-time employment. I find no consistent evidence that denial of SSI affected the employment of elderly immigrant women, but some evidence that it raised their retirement rate, specifically among those who immigrated in recent years.

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File URL: http://crr.bc.edu/working-papers/elderly-immigrants-labor-supply-response-to-supplemental-security-income/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Retirement Research in its series Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College with number wp2008-25.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:crr:crrwps:wp2008-25

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  1. Borjas, George J & Hilton, Lynette, 1996. "Immigration and the Welfare State: Immigrant Participation in Means-Tested Entitlement Programs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 575-604, May.
  2. Neeraj Kaushal, 2005. "New Immigrants' Location Choices: Magnets without Welfare," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 59-80, January.
  3. Steven J. Haider & Robert F. Schoeni & Yuhua Bao & Caroline Danielson, 2004. "Immigrants, welfare reform, and the economy," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(4), pages 745-764.
  4. Jennifer Van Hook, 2003. "Welfare Reform's Chilling Effects on Noncitizens: Changes in Noncitizen Welfare Recipiency or Shifts in Citizenship Status?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 84(3), pages 613-631.
  5. Paul S. Davies & Michael J. Greenwood, 2004. "Welfare Reform and Immigrant Participation in the Supplemental Security Income Program," Working Papers wp087, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  6. Wei-Yin Hu, 1998. "Elderly Immigrants on Welfare," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(3), pages 711-741.
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