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How did the Elimination of the Earnings Test above the Normal Retirement Age affect Retirement Expectations?

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Author Info

  • Pierre-Carl Michaud
  • Arthur van Soest

Abstract

The authors look at the effect of the 2000 repeal of the earnings test above the normal retirement age on retirement expectations of workers in the Health and Retirement Study, aged 51 to 61 in 1992. For men, they find that those whose marginal wage rate increased when the earnings test was repealed, had the largest increase in the probability to work full-time past normal retirement age. They do not find significant evidence of effects of the repeal of the earnings test on the probability to work past age 62 or the expected claiming age. On the other hand, for those reaching the normal retirement age, deviations between the age at which Social Security benefits are actually claimed and the previously reported expected age are more negative in 2000 than in 1998. Since their calculations show that the tax introduced by the earnings test was small when accounting for actuarial benefit adjustments and differential mortality, their results suggest that although male workers form expectations in a way consistent with forward-looking behavior, they misperceive the complicated rules of the earnings test. Results for females suggest similar patterns but estimates are imprecise.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by RAND Corporation Publications Department in its series Working Papers with number 478.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:478

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Related research

Keywords: Social security earnings test; expectations; retirement; difference in differences; panel data;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Giovanni Mastrobuoni, 2006. "The Social Security Earnings Test Removal. Money Saved or Money Spent by the Trust Fund?," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 25, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  4. Hugo Benitez-Silva & Frank Heiland, 2006. "The Social Security Earnings Test Revisited: Information, Distortions, and Costs," Department of Economics Working Papers 06-04, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
  5. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 2004. "The social Security Retirement Earnings Test, Retirement and Benefit Claiming," NBER Working Papers 10905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. David S. Loughran & Steven Haider, 2007. "Do the Elderly Respond to Taxes on Earnings? Evidence from the Social Security Retirement Earnings Test," Working Papers 223-1, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  7. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1989. "The Timing of Retirement: A Comparison of Expectations and Realizations," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Aging, pages 335-358 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Steven Haider & Mel StephensJr., 2006. "How Accurate are Expected Retirement Savings?," Working Papers wp128, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  9. Li Gan & Michael D. Hurd & Daniel L. McFadden, 2005. "Individual Subjective Survival Curves," NBER Chapters, in: Analyses in the Economics of Aging, pages 377-412 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Michael D. Hurd, 1993. "The Effect of Labor Market Rigidities on the Labor Force Behavior of Older Workers," NBER Working Papers 4462, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Bo Honoré & Søren Leth-Petersen, 2006. "Estimation of Panel Data Models with Two-sided Censoring," CAM Working Papers 2006-14, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  12. Chan, Sewin & Stevens, Ann Huff, 2004. "Do changes in pension incentives affect retirement? A longitudinal study of subjective retirement expectations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1307-1333, July.
  13. Chamberlain, Gary, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 225-38, January.
  14. Jonathan Gruber & Peter Orszag, 2000. "Does the Social Security Earnings Test Affect Labor Supply and Benefits Receipt?," NBER Working Papers 7923, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Honore, Bo E, 1992. "Trimmed LAD and Least Squares Estimation of Truncated and Censored Regression Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(3), pages 533-65, May.
  16. Richard Disney & Sarah Tanner, 1999. "What can we learn from retirement expectations data?," IFS Working Papers W99/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  17. 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).
  18. Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Measuring Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1329-1376, 09.
  19. Hugo Benítez-Silva & Debra S. Dwyer, 2005. "The Rationality of Retirement Expectations and the Role of New Information," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 587-592, August.
  20. Adeline Delavande & Susann Rohwedder, 2008. "Differential Mortality in Europe and the U.S.: Estimates Based on Subjective Probabilities of Survival," Working Papers 613, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
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Cited by:
  1. Bo MacInnis, 2009. "Social Security and the Joint Trends in Labor Supply and Benefits Receipt Among Older Men," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2009-22, Center for Retirement Research, revised Oct 2009.
  2. Jeffrey B. Liebman & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2012. "The Perception of Social Security Incentives for Labor Supply and Retirement: The Median Voter Knows More Than You’d Think," Tax Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 1 - 42.

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