Early Retirement, Labor Supply, and Benefit Withholding: The Role of the Social Security Earnings Test
AbstractThe labor supply and benefit claiming incentives provided by the early retirement rules of the Social Security Old Age benefits program are of growing importance as the Normal Retirement Age (NRA) increases to 67, the labor force participation of Older Americans rises, and a variety of reforms to the Social Security system are considered. Any reform needs to take into account the effects and rationale of the Social Security Earnings Test and the Actuarial Adjustment Factor. We describe these incentives, and analyze benefit withholding patterns using data from the Master Beneficiary Files of the Social Security Administration, and present descriptive and exploratory evidence on the determinants of benefit withholding using data from the Health and Retirement Survey. We then investigate the importance of the Earnings Test limits for work and claiming behavior using a dynamic life-cycle model of labor supply, benefit claiming, and withholding. We use the latter framework to compare the consequences of a number of changes to the Earnings Test provision for the labor supply behavior and earnings of older Americans.
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 wp183.
Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
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-AGE-2009-07-17 (Economics of Ageing)
- NEP-ALL-2009-07-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAB-2009-07-17 (Labour Economics)
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.:
- Richard Disney & Sarah Smith, 2002.
"The Labour Supply Effect of the Abolition of the Earnings Rule for Older Workers in the United Kingdom,"
CeRP Working Papers
17, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
- Richard Disney & Sarah Smith, 2002. "The Labour Supply Effect of the Abolition of the Earnings Rule for Older Workers in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C136-C152, March.
- Lumsdaine, Robin L. & Mitchell, Olivia S., 1999.
"New developments in the economic analysis of retirement,"
Handbook of Labor Economics,
in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 49, pages 3261-3307
- Robin L. Lumsdaine & Olivia S. Mitchell, . "New Developments in the Economic Analysis of Retirement," Pension Research Council Working Papers 98-8, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
- Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2006.
"Differential Mortality, Uncertain Medical Expenses, and the Saving of Elderly Singles,"
2006 Meeting Papers
46, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2005. "Differential mortality, uncertain medical expenses, and the saving of elderly singles," Working Paper Series WP-05-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2006. "Differential Mortality, Uncertain Medical Expenses, and the Saving of Elderly Singles," NBER Working Papers 12554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David M. Blau, 2008.
"Retirement and Consumption in a Life Cycle Model,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 26, pages 35-71.
- John Rust & Christopher Phelan, 1994.
"How Social Security and Medicare Affect Retirement Behavior in a World of Incomplete Markets,"
9406005, EconWPA, revised 06 Jul 1994.
- John Rust & Christopher Phelan, 1997. "How Social Security and Medicare Affect Retirement Behavior in a World of Incomplete Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 781-832, July.
- Reimers, Cordelia & Honig, Marjorie, 1993. "The Perceived Budget Constraint under Social Security: Evidence from Reentry Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 184-204, January.
- Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1985. "Social Security Reform and Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 1212, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Song, Jae G. & Manchester, Joyce, 2007. "New evidence on earnings and benefit claims following changes in the retirement earnings test in 2000," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 669-700, April.
- Thierry Magnac & David Thesmar, 2002. "Identifying Dynamic Discrete Decision Processes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 801-816, March.
- Rust, John, 1996. "Numerical dynamic programming in economics," Handbook of Computational Economics, in: H. M. Amman & D. A. Kendrick & J. Rust (ed.), Handbook of Computational Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 619-729 Elsevier.
- Leora Friedberg, 1998. "The Social Security Earnings Test and Labor Supply of Older Men," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 12, pages 121-150 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gruber, Jonathan & Orszag, Peter, 2003. "Does the Social Security Earnings Test Affect Labor Supply and Benefits Receipt?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(4), pages 755-73, December .
- Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1999. "How do retirement tests affect the labour supply of older men?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 27-51, January.
- John Sabelhaus & Julie Topoleski, 2007. "Uncertain policy for an uncertain world: The case of social security," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(3), pages 507-525.
- H. Benitez-Silva & F. Heiland, 2008. "Early claiming of social security benefits and labour supply behaviour of older Americans," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(23), pages 2969-2985.
- Coile, Courtney & Diamond, Peter & Gruber, Jonathan & Jousten, Alain, 2002.
"Delays in claiming social security benefits,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 357-385, June.
- Courtney Coile & Peter Diamond & Jonathan Gruber & Alain Jousten, 1999. "Delays in Claiming Social Security Benefits," NBER Working Papers 7318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- COILE, Courtney & DIAMOND, Peter & GRUBER, Jonathan & JOUSTEN, Alain, 2000. "Delays in claiming social security benefits," CORE Discussion Papers 2000029, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- Steven Haider & Gary Solon, 2000.
"Non Random Selection in the HRS Social Security Earnings Sample,"
00-01, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
- Haider, S. & Solon, G., 2000. "Nonrandom Selection in the HRS Social Security Earnings Sample," Papers 00-01, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
- Robin L. Lumsdaine, 1995. "Factors Affecting Labor Supply Decisions and Retirement Income," NBER Working Papers 5223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hugo Benitez-Silva & Debra S. Dwyer & Frank Heiland & Warren C. Sanderson, 2006. "Retirement and Social Security Reform Expectations: A Solution to the New Early Retirement Puzzle," Department of Economics Working Papers 06-05, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
- Hans M. Amman & David A. Kendrick, . "Computational Economics," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number comp1, March Cit.
- Honig, Marjorie & Reimers, Cordelia, 1989. "Is It Worth Eliminating the Retirement Test?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 103-07, May.
- Butler, Monika, 1999. "Anticipation effects of looming public-pension reforms," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 119-159, June.
- Alan J. Auerbach & Kevin A. Hassett, 2002.
"Optimal Long-Run Fiscal Policy: Constraints, Preferences and the Resolution of Uncertainty,"
NBER Working Papers
9132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Auerbach, Alan J. & Hassett, Kevin, 2007. "Optimal long-run fiscal policy: Constraints, preferences and the resolution of uncertainty," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1451-1472, May.
- Cordelia Reimers & Marjorie Honig, 1996. "Responses to Social Security by Men and Women: Myopic and Far-Sighted Behavior," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(2), pages 359-382.
- Taber, Christopher R., 2000. "Semiparametric identification and heterogeneity in discrete choice dynamic programming models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 201-229, June.
- Hugo Ben�tez-Silva & Frank Heiland, 2007. "The social security earnings test and work incentives," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(3), pages 527-555.
- Burtless, Gary & Moffitt, Robert A, 1985. "The Joint Choice of Retirement Age and Postretirement Hours of Work," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(2), pages 209-36, April.
- Leora Friedberg, 2000.
"The Labor Supply Effects of the Social Security Earnings Test,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 48-63, February.
- Leora Friedberg, 1999. "The Labor Supply Effects of the Social Security Earnings Test," NBER Working Papers 7200, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Giovanni Mastrobuoni, 2007. "Do better–informed workers make better retirement choices? A test based on the Social Security Statement," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 51, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
- Monika Queisser & Edward R. Whitehouse, 2006. "Neutral or Fair?: Actuarial Concepts and Pension-System Design," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 40, OECD Publishing.
- Hurd, Michael D, 1990. "Research on the Elderly: Economic Status, Retirement, and Consumption and Saving," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 565-637, June.
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.