Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Rise of Retirement Among African Americans: Wealth and Social Security Effects

Contents:

Author Info

  • Dora L. Costa

Abstract

I examine the effects of an unearned income transfer on the retirement rates and living arrangements of a very poor population by studying the effects of pensions on the decisions of black Union Army veterans. I find that blacks were 2 to 5 times as responsive as whites to income transfers in their retirement decisions and 6 to 8 times as responsive in their choice of independent living arrangements. I argue that blacks' greater poverty explains their responsiveness to pensions. My findings have implications for understanding racial differences in trends in retirement and independent living. I show that the retirement rates of both blacks and whites rose between 1900 and 1930 but that convergence in black and white rates and in living arrangements only occurred between 1930 and 1950. I argue that income effects from the institution of Social Security explain up to half of the convergence in black-white retirement rates and in living arrangements.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14462.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14462.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14462

Note: AG DAE LS PE
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Dora L. Costa, 1996. "Displacing the Family: Union Army Pensions and Elderly Living Arrange- ments," NBER Working Papers 5429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Anne Case & Angus Deaton, 1996. "Large Cash Transfers to the Elderly in South Africa," NBER Working Papers 5572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Vimal Ranchhod, 2006. "The Effect Of The South African Old Age Pension On Labour Supply Of The Elderly," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 74(4), pages 725-744, December.
  4. Eric Edmonds & Kristin Mammen & Douglas L. Miller, 2004. "Rearranging the Family? Income Support and Elderly Living Arrangements in a Low Income Country," NBER Working Papers 10306, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Hurd, Michael D & Boskin, Michael J, 1984. "The Effect of Social Security on Retirement in the Early 1970s," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 99(4), pages 767-90, November.
  6. John Bound, 1989. "The Health and Earnings of Rejected Disability Insurance Applicants," NBER Working Papers 2816, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Cally Ardington & Anne Case & Victoria Hosegood, 2007. "Labor Supply Responses To Large Social Transfers: Longitudinal Evidence From South Africa," Working Papers, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies. 1003, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  8. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-64, June.
  9. Dora L. Costa, 1999. "A House of Her Own: Old Age Assistance and the Living Arrangements of Older Nonmarried Women," NBER Working Papers 6217, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. William J.Collins & Robert A. Margo, 2000. "Race and Home Ownership: A Century-Long View," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics 0012, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  11. Margo, Robert A, 1984. "Accumulation of Property by Southern Blacks before World War I: Comment and Further Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 768-76, September.
  12. Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2001. "Redistribution in the Current U.S. Social Security System," NBER Working Papers 8625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Friedberg, Leora, 1999. "The effect of old age assistance on retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 213-232, February.
  14. Barsky R. & Bound J. & Charles K.K. & Lupton J.P., 2002. "Accounting for the Black-White Wealth Gap: A Nonparametric Approach," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 663-673, September.
  15. Smith, James P, 1984. "Race and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 685-98, September.
  16. Lange, Fabian & Olmstead, Alan L. & Rhode, Paul W., 2009. "The Impact of the Boll Weevil, 1892–1932," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(03), pages 685-718, September.
  17. Bert Kestenbaum, 1992. "A description of the extreme aged population based on improved medicare enrollment data," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 565-580, November.
  18. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Erik Hurst & Nikolai Roussanov, 2007. "Conspicuous Consumption and Race," NBER Working Papers 13392, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. de Carvalho Filho, Irineu Evangelista, 2008. "Old-age benefits and retirement decisions of rural elderly in Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 129-146, April.
  20. Costa, Dora L, 1995. "Pensions and Retirement: Evidence from Union Army Veterans," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 297-319, May.
  21. Edward N. Wolff, 1998. "Recent Trends in the Size Distribution of Household Wealth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 131-150, Summer.
  22. Kathleen McGarry & Robert F. Schoeni, 1998. "Social Security, Economic Growth, and the Rise in Independence of Elderly Widows in the 20th Century," NBER Working Papers 6511, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Erik Hurst & Ming Ching Luoh & Frank P. Stafford, 1998. "The Wealth Dynamics of American Families, 1984-94," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 267-338.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14462. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.