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Social Security Claiming: Trends and Business Cycle Effects

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  • Owen Haaga

    (Urban Institute)

  • Richard W. Johnson

    (Urban Institute)

Abstract

Social Security claiming behavior matters because early claimants receive lower monthly benefits for the rest of their lives. Early claiming fell over the past decade, after increasing over the previous 10 years. However, high unemployment encourages early claiming by less-educated men. A 1 percentage point increase in the state unemployment rate is associated with a 0.4 percentage point increase in the monthly claiming probability by men who never attended college, implying that the Great Recession boosted their claiming rates by about 40 percent. In contrast, claiming behavior by women and well-educated men is not significantly correlated with the unemployment rate. JEL Classification: Key words:

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Urban Institute, Program on Retirement Policy in its series Discussion papers with number 12-01.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rbn:wpaper:12-01

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  1. Michael D. Hurd & James P. Smith & Julie M. Zissimopoulos, 2002. "The Effects of Subjective Survival on Retirement and Social Security Claiming," NBER Working Papers 9140, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Richard W. Johnson, 2007. "What Happens to Health Benefits after Retirement?," Work Opportunity Briefs wob_7, Center for Retirement Research, revised Feb 2007.
  3. Leora Friedberg & Michael Owyang & Anthony Webb, 2008. "Identifying Local Differences in Retirement Patterns," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2008-18, Center for Retirement Research, revised Dec 2008.
  4. Richard W. Johnson & Amy J. Davidoff & Kevin Perese, 2003. "Health insurance costs and early retirement decisions," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(4), pages 716-729, July.
  5. Gordon B.T. Mermin & Richard W. Johnson & Dan Murphy, 2006. "Why Do Boomers Plan to Work So Long?," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2006-19, Center for Retirement Research, revised Nov 2006.
  6. Tammy Schirle, 2008. "Why Have the Labor Force Participation Rates of Older Men Increased since the Mid-1990s?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(4), pages 549-594, October.
  7. Gordon B. T. Mermin & Richard W. Johnson & Dan P. Murphy, 2007. "Why Do Boomers Plan to Work Longer?," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 62(5), pages S286-S294.
  8. Hutchens, Robert, 1999. "Social Security Benefits and Employer Behavior: Evaluating Social Security Early Retirement Benefits as a Form of Unemployment Insurance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(3), pages 659-78, August.
  9. 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.
  10. Rogowski, Jeannette & Karoly, Lynn, 2000. "Health insurance and retirement behavior: evidence from the health and retirement survey," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 529-539, July.
  11. Melissa M. Favreault & Austin Nichols, 2011. "Immigrant Diversity and Social Security: Recent Patterns and Future Prospects," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2011-8, Center for Retirement Research, revised May 2011.
  12. 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.
  13. John L. Czajka & James Mabli & Scott Cody, 2008. "Sample Loss and Survey Bias in Estimates of Social Security Beneficiaries: A Tale of Two Surveys," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 6064, Mathematica Policy Research.
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Cited by:
  1. Hugo Benítez-Silva & J. Ignacio García-Pérez & Sergi Jiménez-Martín, 2011. "The effects of employment uncertainty and wealth shocks on the labor supply and claiming behavior of older American workers," Economics Working Papers 1275, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Song, Jae & Stolyarov, Dmitriy, 2013. "Macroeconomic Determinants of Retirement Timing," IZA Discussion Papers 7744, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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