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Social Security Claiming: Trends and Business Cycle Effects

  • Owen Haaga

    (Urban Institute)

  • Richard W. Johnson

    (Urban Institute)

Social Security claiming behavior matters because early claimants receive lower monthly benefits for the rest of their lives. Early claiming fell over the past decade, after increasing over the previous 10 years. However, high unemployment encourages early claiming by less-educated men. A 1 percentage point increase in the state unemployment rate is associated with a 0.4 percentage point increase in the monthly claiming probability by men who never attended college, implying that the Great Recession boosted their claiming rates by about 40 percent. In contrast, claiming behavior by women and well-educated men is not significantly correlated with the unemployment rate. JEL Classification: Key words:

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Paper provided by Urban Institute, Program on Retirement Policy in its series Discussion papers with number 12-01.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rbn:wpaper:12-01
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  1. 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.
  2. Leora Friedberg & Michael Owyang & Anthony Webb, 2008. "Identifying Local Differences in Retirement Patterns," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2008-18, Center for Retirement Research, revised Dec 2008.
  3. Michael D. Hurd & James P. Smith & Julie M. Zissimopoulos, 2004. "The effects of subjective survival on retirement and Social Security claiming," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 761-775.
  4. Gruber, Jonathan & Orszag, Peter, 2003. "Does the Social Security Earnings Test Affect Labor Supply and Benefits Receipt?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(4), pages 755-73, December.
  5. Richard W. Johnson & Amy J. Davidoff & Kevin Perese, 2003. "Health insurance costs and early retirement decisions," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(4), pages 716-729, July.
  6. Song, Jae G. & Manchester, Joyce, 2007. "New evidence on earnings and benefit claims following changes in the retirement earnings test in 2000," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 669-700, April.
  7. Gordon B.T. Mermin & Richard W. Johnson & Dan Murphy, 2006. "Why Do Boomers Plan to Work So Long?," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2006-19, Center for Retirement Research, revised Nov 2006.
  8. repec:mpr:mprres:6064 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. John L. Czajka & James Mabli & Scott Cody, 2008. "Sample Loss and Survey Bias in Estimates of Social Security Beneficiaries: A Tale of Two Surveys," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 764acc7a0a0b462c9906514d5, Mathematica Policy Research.
  10. Melissa M. Favreault & Austin Nichols, 2011. "Immigrant Diversity and Social Security: Recent Patterns and Future Prospects," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2011-8, Center for Retirement Research, revised May 2011.
  11. Gordon B. T. Mermin & Richard W. Johnson & Dan P. Murphy, 2007. "Why Do Boomers Plan to Work Longer?," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 62(5), pages S286-S294.
  12. Richard W. Johnson, 2007. "What Happens to Health Benefits after Retirement?," Work Opportunity Briefs wob_7, Center for Retirement Research, revised Feb 2007.
  13. Tammy Schirle, 2008. "Why Have the Labor Force Participation Rates of Older Men Increased since the Mid-1990s?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(4), pages 549-594, October.
  14. Hutchens, Robert, 1999. "Social Security Benefits and Employer Behavior: Evaluating Social Security Early Retirement Benefits as a Form of Unemployment Insurance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(3), pages 659-78, August.
  15. Rogowski, Jeannette & Karoly, Lynn, 2000. "Health insurance and retirement behavior: evidence from the health and retirement survey," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 529-539, July.
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