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Aching to Retire? The Rise in the Full Retirement Age and its Impact on the Disability Rolls

Author

Listed:
  • Mark Duggan
  • Perry Singleton
  • Jae Song

Abstract

The Social Security Amendments of 1983 reduced the generosity of Social Security retired worker benefits in the U.S. by increasing the program's full retirement age from 65 to 67 and increasing the penalty for claiming benefits at the early retirement age of 62. These changes were phased in gradually, so that individuals born in or before 1937 were unaffected and those born in 1960 or later were fully affected. No corresponding changes were made to the program's disabled worker benefits, and thus the relative generosity of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits increased. In this paper, we investigate the effect of the Amendments on SSDI enrollment by exploiting variation across birth cohorts in the policy-induced reduction in the present value of retired worker benefits. Our findings indicate that the Amendments significantly increased SSDI enrollment since 1983, with an additional 0.6 percent of men and 0.9 percent of women between the ages of 45 and 64 receiving SSDI benefits in 2005 as a result of the changes. Our results further indicate that these effects will continue to increase during the next two decades, as those fully exposed to the reduction in retirement benefit generosity reach their fifties and early sixties.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Duggan & Perry Singleton & Jae Song, 2005. "Aching to Retire? The Rise in the Full Retirement Age and its Impact on the Disability Rolls," NBER Working Papers 11811, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11811
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nicole Maestas & Julie Zissimopoulos, 2009. "How Longer Work Lives Ease the Crunch of Population Aging," Working Papers WR-728, RAND Corporation.
    2. Mastrobuoni, Giovanni, 2009. "Labor supply effects of the recent social security benefit cuts: Empirical estimates using cohort discontinuities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1224-1233, December.
    3. Wojciech Kopczuk & Jae Song, 2008. "Stylized Facts and Incentive Effects Related to Claiming of Retirement Benefits Based on Social Security Administration Data," Working Papers wp200, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    4. Christine Mayrhuber & Lukas Tockner, 2012. "Biographies of the Frequency of Health Care Service Use Before Retiring on an (Occupational) Invalidity Pension," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 85(3), pages 209-217, March.
    5. Joyce Manchester & Jae Song, 2008. "Have People Delayed Claiming Retirement Benefits? Responses to Changes in Social Security Rules: Working Paper 2008-04," Working Papers 19575, Congressional Budget Office.
    6. Nicole Maestas & Julie Zissimopoulos, 2010. "How Longer Work Lives Ease the Crunch of Population Aging," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 139-160, Winter.
    7. Giovanni Mastrobuoni, 2006. "Labor Supply Effects of the Recent Social Security Benefit Cuts: Empirical Estimates Using Cohort Discontinuities," Working Papers 893, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    8. Blau, David M. & Goodstein, Ryan, 2007. "What Explains Trends in Labor Force Participation of Older Men in the United States?," IZA Discussion Papers 2991, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Nicole Maestas & Julie Zissimopoulos, 2010. "How Longer Work Lives Ease the Crunch of Population Aging," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, pages 139-160.
    10. Lex Borghans & Anne C. Gielen & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2014. "Social Support Substitution and the Earnings Rebound: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity in Disability Insurance Reform," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 34-70, November.
    11. Pierre Koning & Daniel van Vuuren, 2010. "Disability insurance and unemployment insurance as substitute pathways," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(5), pages 575-588.
    12. Xiaoyan Li & Nicole Maestas, 2008. "Does the Rise in the Full Retirement Age Encourage Disability Benefits Applications? Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," Working Papers wp198, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    13. repec:pri:cepsud:136mastrobuoni is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Gaobo Pang & University of Maryland, 2006. "Tax-Deferred Savings and Early Retirement," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 31, Society for Computational Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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