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Social Security, Induced Retirement, and Aggregate Capital Accumulation:A Correction and Updating

  • Martin Feldstein

In a 1974 paper in the Journal of Political Economy I discussed the theoretical ambiguity of the effect of social security on private saving and presented statistical evidence that social security does on balance depress saving. Recently, an error was detected in the computer program that was used to construct the "social security wealth" variable. I have now corrected that error and re estimated the original consumer expenditure equation. I have also updated the analysis by including the five years of additional data that have become available since the original study was completed. The new estimates, presented in the current note, continue to indicate that social security substantially depresses private saving. The point estimates of this effect are somewhat lower than before but nevertheless simply that social security depresses saving by about fifty percent of its current value. The estimated reduction in saving is more than two-thirds of the concurrent "contributions" of employees and employers to the social security retirement and survivors fund.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w0579.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0579.

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Date of creation: Nov 1980
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Publication status: published as Feldstein, Martin. "Social Security and Private Saving: Reply." Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 90, No. 3 (June, 1982), pp.630-642.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0579
Note: PE
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  1. Martin Feldstein & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2001. "Social Security," NBER Working Papers 8451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • 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. Martin Feldstein, 1980. "International differences in social security and saving," NBER Chapters, in: Econometric Studies in Public Finance, pages 225-244 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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.
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