Social Security and the Timing of Divorce
AbstractThe Social Security system contains many features designed to provide an adequate retirement income for familes, rather than just individual retired workers. The most important of these features is the spousal benefit, under which secondary earners are entitled to receive a monthly payment of 50 percent of their spouse's monthly Social Security benefit. However, shifts in family structure since the creation of the Social Security program have led to criticisms of the spousal benefit on equity grounds. Using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) Marital History File, this paper focuses on one specific implication: Social Security's divorce rules. We find that vulnerable couples are more likely to delay divorce in order to recieve spousal benefits, however the difference is small and statistically insignificant.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in its series Discussion Papers with number 08-057.
Date of creation: Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Social Security; divorce; spousal benefit;
Other versions of this item:
- H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
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