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Social Security and Saving: New Time Series Evidence

  • Martin Feldstein

This paper reexamines the results of my 1974 paper on Social Security and saving with the help of an additional twenty-one years of data. The estimates presented here reconfirm that each dollar of Social Security wealth (SSW) reduces private saving by between two and three cents. The parameter estimates for the postwar period and for the entire sample since 1930 are very similar. The correction of the error in the original SSW series between 1958 and 1971 therefore does not significantly affect the original results. The estimated effect of SSW is robust with respect to the addition of a variety of variables that have been suggested in previous critiques of the original study. In the aggregate, the parameter values imply that the Social Security program currently reduces overall private saving by nearly 60 percent.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w5054.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5054.

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Date of creation: Mar 1995
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as National Tax Journal, 1996.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5054
Note: PE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Feldstein, Martin S, 1982. "Social Security and Private Saving: Reply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(3), pages 630-42, June.
  2. Leimer, Dean R & Lesnoy, Selig D, 1982. "Social Security and Private Saving: New Time-Series Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(3), pages 606-29, June.
  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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