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Social Security and Retirement in the U.S

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  • Peter Diamond
  • Jonathan Gruber

Abstract

The largest entitlement program in the United States today is the Social Security program (SS). We provide an overview of the interaction between the SS system and retirement behavior. We begin by documenting historical trends in labor force participation and program receipt, and contemporaneous patterns of work and income receipt for the current cohort of older persons. We then present an overview of the structure of the SS program in the U.S., and review existing evidence on the relationship between SS and retirement. Finally, we present results of a simulation model which measures the implicit tax/subsidy rate on work after age 55 through the SS system. We find that, for married workers, the system is roughly neutral with respect to work after age 62, but that it heavily penalizes work after age 65. But there are larger tax rates on single workers and on high earning workers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6097.

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Date of creation: Jul 1997
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Publication status: published as Gruber and Wise (eds.) Social Security and Retirement around the World. University of Chicago Press, 1998.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6097

Note: AG LS PE
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  1. 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.
  2. Michael D. Hurd & John B. Shoven, 1983. "The Distributional Impact of Social Security," NBER Working Papers 1155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Krueger, Alan B & Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1992. "The Effect of Social Security on Labor Supply: A Cohort Analysis of the Notch Generation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(4), pages 412-37, October.
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  18. Crawford, Vincent P & Lilien, David M, 1981. "Social Security and the Retirement Decision," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 96(3), pages 505-29, August.
  19. 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.
  20. Kahn, James A., 1988. "Social security, liquidity, and early retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 97-117, February.
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  22. Jonathan S. Leonard, 1985. "Labor Supply Incentives and Disincentives for the Disabled," NBER Working Papers 1744, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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