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The Effect of the Social Security Earnings Test on Male Labor Supply: New Evidence from Survey and Administrative Data

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  • Steven J. Haider
  • David S. Loughran

Abstract

Despite numerous empirical studies, there is surprisingly little agreement about whether the Social Security earnings test affects male labor supply. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive analysis of the labor supply effects of the earnings test using longitudinal administrative earnings data and more commonly used survey data. We find that the response to the earnings test in survey data is obfuscated by measurement error and labor market rigidities. Accounting for these factors, our results suggest a consistent and substantial response to the earnings test, especially for younger men.

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  • Steven J. Haider & David S. Loughran, 2008. "The Effect of the Social Security Earnings Test on Male Labor Supply: New Evidence from Survey and Administrative Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:43:y:2008:i:1:p57-87
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    Cited by:

    1. Liebman, Jeffrey B. & Luttmer, Erzo F.P. & Seif, David G., 2009. "Labor supply responses to marginal Social Security benefits: Evidence from discontinuities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1208-1223, December.
    2. Dean, Andres & Fleitas, Sebastian & Zerpa, Mariana, 2020. "Dynamic Incentives in Retirement Earnings-Replacement Benefits," IZA Discussion Papers 12982, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Theodore Figinski & David Neumark, 2015. "Does Eliminating the Earnings Test Increase the Incidence of Low Income Among Older Women?," NBER Working Papers 21601, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Shimizutani, Satoshi & Oshio,Takashi, 2008. "The Labor Supply Effect of Social Security Earnings Test Revisited: New Evidence from its Elimination and Revival in Japan," PIE/CIS Discussion Paper 410, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    5. Olena Nizalova, 2012. "The Wage Elasticity of Informal Care Supply: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 350-366, October.
    6. Luc Behaghel & David M. Blau, 2012. "Framing Social Security Reform: Behavioral Responses to Changes in the Full Retirement Age," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 41-67, November.
    7. Satoshi Shimizutani, 2013. "Social Security Earnings Test and the Labour Supply of the Elderly: New Evidence from Unique Survey Responses in Japan," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 64(3), pages 399-413, September.
    8. Saporta-Eksten, Itay & Shurtz, Ity & Weisburd, Sarit, 2020. "Social Security, Labor Supply and Health of Older Workers: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from a Large Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 13263, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Leonard E. Burman & Norma B. Coe & Kevin Pierce & Liu Tian, 2014. "The Effects of the Taxation of Social Security Benefits on Older Workers’ Income and Claiming Decisions," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 67(2), pages 459-486, June.
    10. Alpert, Abby & Powell, David, 2014. "Estimating Intensive and Extensive Tax Responsiveness: Do Older Workers Respond to Income Taxes?," Working Papers 987-1, RAND Corporation.
    11. Malkova, Olga, 2020. "Did Soviet elderly employment respond to financial incentives? Evidence from pension reforms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 182(C).
    12. Morrill, Melinda Sandler & Westall, John, 2019. "Social security and retirement timing: evidence from a national sample of teachers," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(4), pages 549-564, October.
    13. Lucie Schmidt & Purvi Sevak, 2006. "Taxes, Wages, and the Labor Supply of Older Americans," Working Papers wp139, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    14. Hernæs, Erik & Jia, Zhiyang, 2009. "Labour Supply Response of a Retirement Earnings Test Reform," Memorandum 25/2009, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    15. Abby Alpert & David Powell, 2020. "Estimating Intensive And Extensive Tax Responsiveness," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 58(4), pages 1855-1873, October.
    16. Malkova, Olga, 2019. "Did Soviet Elderly Employment Respond to Financial Incentives? Evidence from Pension Reforms," IZA Discussion Papers 12790, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Maritza López-Novella, 2012. "Working Paper 14-12 - Analysing the impact of eligibility and financial measures aiming at delaying early retirement in Belgium: a “difference-in-differences†approach using panel data," Working Papers 1214, Federal Planning Bureau, Belgium.
    18. Dale S. Bremmer & Randy Kesselring, 2018. "How Social Security’s Earning Test, Age and Education Affect Female Labor Supply," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 46(4), pages 357-377, December.
    19. Vere, James P., 2011. "Social Security and elderly labor supply: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 676-686, October.
    20. Courtney Coile, 2018. "Working Longer in the U.S.: Trends and Explanations," NBER Working Papers 24576, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Shimizutani, Satoshi & Oshio, Takashi, 2013. "Revisiting the labor supply effect of social security earnings test: New evidence from its elimination and reinstatement in Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 99-111.
    22. Courtney C. Coile, 2018. "Working Longer in the United States: Trends and Explanations," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Working Longer, pages 299-324, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Sudipto Banerjee & David Blau, 2016. "Employment Trends by Age in the United States: Why Are Older Workers Different?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(1), pages 163-199.

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