IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Labor Supply Effects of the Social Security Earnings Test

  • Leora Friedberg

The Social Security earnings test reduces benefits at a 33-50% rate once earnings pass a threshold amount - among the highest marginal tax rates in the economy. Previous research dismissed the importance of the earnings test but failed to take advantage of three changes in the earnings test rules in order to identify its impact. Each change applied to some age groups and not others - which make them useful for identifying the effect of tax rules on the labor supply of working beneficiaries. Beneficiaries in the Current Population Survey satisfy the strongest prediction: many keep their earnings just below the exempt amount, and this bunching shifts with the earnings test rule changes. The rule changes are then incorporated into an econometric model of labor supply to identify income and substitution elasticities. The resulting elasticity estimates suggest considerable deadweight loss suffered by working beneficiaries. Simulations predict a substantial boost to labor supply from eliminating the earnings test, and at a minimal fiscal cost. However, a slight decrease in labor supply is predicted from the recently legislated increase in the exempt amount.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7200.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7200.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Jun 1999
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 82, no. 1 (February 2000): 48-63.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7200
Note: AG PE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Leora Friedberg, 1998. "The Social Security Earnings Test and Labor Supply of Older Men," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 12, pages 121-150 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alan B. Krueger & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1991. "The Effect of Social Security on Labor Supply: A Cohort Analysis of the Notch Generation," NBER Working Papers 3699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. MaCurdy, Thomas, 1992. "Work Disincentive Effects of Taxes: A Reexamination of Some Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 243-49, May.
  4. J. Hausman, 1979. "The Effect of Wages, Taxes and Fixed Costs on Women's Labor Force Participation," Working papers 238, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1991. "Changing the Social Security rules for work after age 65," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(4), pages 733-745, July.
  6. Coile, Courtney & Diamond, Peter & Gruber, Jonathan & Jousten, Alain, 2002. "Delays in claiming social security benefits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 357-385, June.
  7. Altonji, Joseph G & Paxson, Christina H, 1988. "Labor Supply Preferences, Hours Constraints, and Hours-Wage Trade-Offs," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(2), pages 254-76, April.
  8. Card, David, 1990. "Labor supply with a minimum hours threshold," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 137-168, January.
  9. James J. Heckman & Thomas E. MaCurdy, 1982. "New Methods for Estimating Labor Supply Functions: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 0858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1990. "Bridge Jobs and Partial Retirement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(4), pages 482-501, October.
  11. Bruce D. Meyer, 1994. "Natural and Quasi- Experiments in Economics," NBER Technical Working Papers 0170, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Hausman, Jerry A, 1981. "Exact Consumer's Surplus and Deadweight Loss," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 662-76, September.
  13. Blomquist, S. & Newey, W., 1997. "Nonparametric Estimation of Labor Supply Functions Generated by Piece Wise Linear Budget Constraints," Papers 1997-24, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  14. Pencavel, John, 1987. "Labor supply of men: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 3-102 Elsevier.
  15. Hanoch, Giora & Honig, Marjorie, 1983. "Retirement, Wages, and Labor Supply of the Elderly," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(2), pages 131-51, April.
  16. Reimers, Cordelia & Honig, Marjorie, 1993. "The Perceived Budget Constraint under Social Security: Evidence from Reentry Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 184-204, January.
  17. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1983. "A Structural Retirement Model," NBER Working Papers 1237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Burtless, Gary & Moffitt, Robert A, 1985. "The Joint Choice of Retirement Age and Postretirement Hours of Work," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(2), pages 209-36, April.
  19. Moffitt, Robert, 1986. "The Econometrics of Piecewise-Linear Budget Constraints: A Survey and Exposition of the Maximum Likelihood Method," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 4(3), pages 317-28, July.
  20. Blomquist, Soren, 1995. "Restrictions in labor supply estimation: Is the MaCurdy critique correct?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 47(3-4), pages 229-235, March.
  21. Martin Feldstein, 1983. "Behavioral Simulation Methods in Tax Policy Analysis," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feld83-2, Abril.
  22. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Costas Meghir, 1995. "Estimating labour supply responses using tax reforms," IFS Working Papers W95/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  23. Richard V. Burkhauser, 1980. "The early acceptance of social security: An asset maximization approach," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 33(4), pages 484-492, July.
  24. Thomas MaCurdy & David Green & Harry Paarsch, 1990. "Assessing Empirical Approaches for Analyzing Taxes and Labor Supply," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(3), pages 415-490.
  25. Cogan, John F, 1981. "Fixed Costs and Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 945-63, June.
  26. Alan S. Blinder & Roger H. Gordon & Donald E. Wise, 1980. "Reconsidering the Work Disincentive Effects of Social Security," NBER Working Papers 0562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Blomquist, N.S., 1992. "Estimation Methods for Male Labor Supply Functions: How to take Account to Taxes," Papers 1992-7, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  28. Cordelia Reimers & Marjorie Honig, 1996. "Responses to Social Security by Men and Women: Myopic and Far-Sighted Behavior," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(2), pages 359-382.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7200. 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: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.