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Social Security, benefit claiming, and labor force participation: a quantitative general equilibrium approach

  • Selahattin Imrohoroglu
  • Sagiri Kitao

We build a general equilibrium model of overlapping generations that incorporates endogenous saving, labor force participation, work hours, and Social Security benefit claims. Using this model, we study the impact of three Social Security reforms: 1) a reduction in benefits and payroll taxes; 2) an increase in the earliest retirement age, to sixty-four from sixty-two; and 3) an increase in the normal retirement age, to sixty-eight from sixty-six. We find that a 50 percent cut in the scope of the current system significantly raises asset holdings and the labor input, primarily through higher participation of older workers, and reduces the shortfall of the Social Security budget through a reduction in early claiming. Increasing the normal retirement age also raises saving and the labor supply, but the effects are smaller. Postponing the earliest retirement age has only a negligible effect. When the projected aging of the population is taken into account, the case for a reform that encourages labor force participation of the elderly appears to be much stronger.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 436.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:436
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  1. Imrohoroglu, Selahattin & Kitao, Sagiri, 2009. "Labor supply elasticity and social security reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 867-878, August.
  2. Imrohoroglu, Ayse & Imrohoroglu, Selahattin & Joines, Douglas H, 1995. "A Life Cycle Analysis of Social Security," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 83-114, June.
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  12. Hugo Benítez-Silva & Debra Sabatini Dwyer & Warren Sanderson, 2006. "A Dynamic Model of Retirement and Social Security Reform Expectations: A Solution to the New Early Retirement Puzzle," Working Papers wp134, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
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  16. Hugo Benitez-Silva & Frank Heiland, 2005. "Early Claiming of Social Security Benefits and Labor Supply Behavior of Older Americans," Department of Economics Working Papers 05-05, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
  17. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Kent Smetters & Jan Walliser, 1999. "Privatizing Social Security in the U.S. -- Comparing the Options," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(3), pages 532-574, July.
  18. Alonso-Ortiz, Jorge, 2014. "Social security and retirement across the OECD," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 300-316.
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  20. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 2002. "The Social Security Early Entitlement Age in a Structural Model of Retirement and Wealth," Working Papers wp029, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  21. Jeske, Karsten & Kitao, Sagiri, 2009. "U.S. tax policy and health insurance demand: Can a regressive policy improve welfare?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 210-221, March.
  22. Donna B. Gilleskie & David M. Blau, 2006. "Health insurance and retirement of married couples," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(7), pages 935-953.
  23. Edward C. Prescott & Richard Rogerson & Johanna Wallenius, 2007. "Lifetime aggregate labor supply with endogenous workweek length," Staff Report 400, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  24. Thomas J. Sargent & Lars Ljungqvist & Sagiri Kitao, 2009. "A Life Cycle Model of Trans-Atlantic Employment Experiences," 2009 Meeting Papers 914, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  25. Palumbo, Michael G, 1999. "Uncertain Medical Expenses and Precautionary Saving Near the End of the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 395-421, April.
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  27. Hugo Benitez-Silva & Debra S. Dwyer & Frank Heiland & Warren C. Sanderson, 2006. "Retirement and Social Security Reform Expectations: A Solution to the New Early Retirement Puzzle," Department of Economics Working Papers 06-05, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
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