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The Effects of Differential Mortality Rates on the Progressivity of Social Security

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  • Garrett, Daniel M

Abstract

Does the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance portion of Social Security become regressive once the author allows for the shorter lifespan of poor people? This paper compares the net returns of poor households to the net returns of other households after taking into account differential longevity. Earnings and Social Security tax and benefit histories are simulated for families of various income levels in the 1925 birth cohort. These tax and benefit profiles are then weighted by the agents' probabilities of survival. For some plausible values of key mortality parameters, differences in mortality eliminate the progressive spread in returns across income categories. Copyright 1995 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Garrett, Daniel M, 1995. "The Effects of Differential Mortality Rates on the Progressivity of Social Security," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(3), pages 457-475, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:33:y:1995:i:3:p:457-75
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