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Social Security Benefits and the Accumulation of Preretirement Wealth

  • Martin Feldstein

This paper uses a new and particularly well-suited body of data to assess the impact of social security retirement benefits on private savings. The Retirement History Survey combines survey evidence on the wealth of couples in their early sixties with detailed information from the administrative records of the Social Security Administration on the lifetime earnings of those individuals and the social security benefits to which they are entitled. The present paper uses these data to estimate a model of the determination of preretirement net worth. On balance, the estimates developed in this study favor the extended life cycle model as a theory of asset accumulation and indicate a substantial substitution of social security wealth for private wealth accumulation.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w0477.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0477.

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Date of creation: May 1980
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Publication status: published as Feldstein, Martin. "Social Security Benefits and the Accumulation of Preretirement Wealth." The Determinants of National Saving and Wealth, edited by Franco Modigliani and Richard Hemming, pp. 3-23. New York: St. Martin's Press, (1983).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0477
Note: PE
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  1. Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
  2. Diamond, P. A., 1977. "A framework for social security analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 275-298, December.
  3. Feldstein, Martin S, 1974. "Social Security, Induced Retirement, and Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(5), pages 905-26, Sept./Oct.
  4. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
  5. Boskin, Michael J, 1977. "Social Security and Retirement Decisions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 15(1), pages 1-25, January.
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