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Should Social Security Benefits Be Means Tested?

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  • Feldstein, Martin

Abstract

Social-security retirement benefits distort the saving decisions of workers who are rational enough to save for their future. Since the implicit rate of return in an unfunded social-security program is less than the marginal product of capital, the resulting decline in saving causes a welfare loss. The present paper examines the conditions under which the welfare loss can be reduced by replacing the current universal social-security program with a means-tested program that pays benefits only to those individuals with little or no other retirement income or assets.

Suggested Citation

  • Feldstein, Martin, 1987. "Should Social Security Benefits Be Means Tested?," Scholarly Articles 2770498, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:2770498
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    File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/2770498/feldstein_socialsec.pdf
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