The Impact of the 1972 Social Security Benefit Increase on Household Consumption
AbstractThis paper examines the consumption response to the 1972 Social Security benefit increase. Nominal benefits were increased by 20 percent while annual cost of living adjustments (COLAs) were contemporaneously implemented and scheduled to begin in less than three years. Taken in isolation, this benefit increase could be viewed as a large and permanent increase in real Social Security benefits. However, the prevailing high rates of inflation that were the impetus for the COLA legislation may have caused households to view the permanent real benefit increase to be substantially less than 20 percent. Using data from the 1972-73 Survey of Consumer Expenditures, the results provide a mixed picture of the consumption impact of the benefit increase. Strictly nondurable consumption increases significantly at the time of the benefit increase. However, this increase does not persist. Furthermore, the likelihood of making any purchases from an array of durable good categories does not change throughout this period.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center in its series Working Papers with number wp095.
Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: P.O. Box 1248, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Phone: (734) 615-0422
Fax: (734) 647-4575
Web page: http://www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/papers/
More information through EDIRC
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-04-30 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Stephen P. Zeldes, .
"Consumption and Liquidity Constraints: An Empirical Investigation,"
Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers
16-88, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- Zeldes, Stephen P, 1989. "Consumption and Liquidity Constraints: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(2), pages 305-46, April.
- Stephen Zeldes, . "Consumption and Liquidity Constraints: An Empirical Investigation," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 24-85, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- David W. Wilcox, 1987.
"Social security benefits, consumption expenditure, and the life cycle hypothesis,"
Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section
78, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Wilcox, David W, 1989. "Social Security Benefits, Consumption Expenditure, and the Life Cycle Hypothesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(2), pages 288-304, April.
- Lusardi, Annamaria, 1996. "Permanent Income, Current Income, and Consumption: Evidence from Two Panel Data Sets," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 14(1), pages 81-90, January.
- Burtless, Gary, 1986. "Social Security, Unanticipated Benefit Increases, and the Timing of Retirement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(5), pages 781-805, October.
- Richard Blundell & Thomas MaCurdy, 1998.
"Labour supply: a review of alternative approaches,"
IFS Working Papers
W98/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Gary V. Engelhardt & Jonathan Gruber, 2004. "Social Security and the Evolution of Elderly Poverty," NBER Working Papers 10466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (MRRC Administrator).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.