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Social Security Reforms and Poverty among Older Dual-Earner Couples

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  • Mitchell, Olivia S

Abstract

Most retirement studies examine older married couples in which the husband is the sole earner. This paper extends the focus of analysis to examine older dual-earner couples. It further evaluates the impact of Social Security reforms on older working couples1 retirement ages and retirement incomes. Specifically, we examine two questions: (1) What are the likely effects of changes in Social Security rules on the retirement decisions of older working women and their husbands? and (2) How are these changes likely to alter the incidence of poverty among retired dual-earner couples? The evidence suggests that benefit reforms intended to bolster the Social Security Administration's financial position are also likely to worsen the economic status of an important minority of dual-earner couples.
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Suggested Citation

  • Mitchell, Olivia S, 1991. "Social Security Reforms and Poverty among Older Dual-Earner Couples," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 4(4), pages 281-293, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:4:y:1991:i:4:p:281-93
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Zabalza, A. & Piachaud, D., 1981. "Social security and the elderly: A simulation of policy changes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 145-169, October.
    2. Richard V. Burkhauser, 1979. "The Pension Acceptance Decision of Older Workers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(1), pages 63-75.
    3. Hanoch, Giora & Honig, Marjorie, 1983. "Retirement, Wages, and Labor Supply of the Elderly," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(2), pages 131-151, April.
    4. Jerry A. Hausman & David A. Wise, 1985. "Social Security, Health Status, and Retirement," NBER Chapters,in: Pensions, Labor, and Individual Choice, pages 159-192 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1987. "Pension Inequality," NBER Chapters,in: Issues in Pension Economics, pages 341-364 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Marjorie Honig, 1985. "Partial Retirement among Women," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(4), pages 613-621.
    7. Zvi Bodie & John B. Shoven & David A. Wise, 1987. "Issues in Pension Economics," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bodi87-1, June.
    8. Fields, Gary S. & Mitchell, Olivia S., 1984. "The effects of social security reforms on retirement ages and retirement incomes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 143-159, November.
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    1. Olivia S. Mitchell & Jan Olson & Thomas Steinmeier, "undated". "Construction of the Earnings and Benefits File (EBF) for Use with the Health and Retirement Survey," Pension Research Council Working Papers 98-19, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.

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