The Economic Consequences of Widowhood
We analyzed the economic consequences of a husband’s death using events that occurred between the first two waves of the HRS and AHEAD studies. We compared poverty transitions against published results from Social Security’s Retirement History Survey of the 1970s. Widowhood remains an important risk factor for transition into poverty, although somewhat less so than twenty years ago. Women over age 65 (AHEAD) are less likely to experience severe economic changes than women under age 61 (HRS). Several factors account for the age differences: the declining importance of husband’s earnings with age, the rising importance of Social Security benefits, and the occasionally large out-of-pocket medical expenses associated with husband’s death before Medicare eligibility. The greater economic impact of widowhood at younger ages is consistent with our cross-section evidence that poverty rates rise with duration of widowhood but are only weakly associated with age.
|Date of creation:||Apr 2002|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (734) 615-0422
Fax: (734) 647-4575
Web page: http://www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/papers/Email:
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Richard Burkhauser & Karen Holden & Daniel Myers, 1986. "Marital disruption and poverty: The role of survey procedures in artificially creating poverty," Demography, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 621-631, November.
- Michael D. Hurd & David A. Wise, 1989.
"The Wealth and Poverty of Widows: Assets Before and After the Husband's Death,"
in: The Economics of Aging, pages 177-200
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Michael D. Hurd & David A. Wise, 1987. "The Wealth and Poverty of Widows: Assets Before and After the Husband's Death," NBER Working Papers 2325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Steven H. Sandell & Howard M. Iams, 1997. "Reducing women's poverty by shifting social security benefits from retired couples to widows," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(2), pages 279-297.
- Kathleen McGarry, 1995. "Measurement Error and Poverty Rates of Widows," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 113-134.
- David Weir & Robert Willis, . "Prospects for Widow Poverty," Pension Research Council Working Papers 98-14, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
- Burkhauser, Richard V & Duncan, Greg J, 1991. "United States Public Policy and the Elderly: The Disproportionate Risk to the Well-Being of Women," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 217-31, August.
- Michael D. Hurd, 1987.
"The Poverty of Widows: Future Prospects,"
NBER Working Papers
2326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Karen Holden & Richard Burkhauser & Daniel Feaster, 1988. "The timing of falls into poverty after retirement and widowhood," Demography, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 405-414, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp023. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (MRRC Administrator)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.