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Social Security and Two-Earner Households

Author

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  • Remzi Kaygusuz

    (Penn State University)

Abstract

The existing social security system in the U.S. has a special provision for married households: a married person can choose between own benefits and half of the spouse's benefits. Another feature of the system is the progressive calculation of benefits: benefits are determined by a concave function of past mean earnings. I develop an equilibrium life-cycle model to quantify the aggregate, cross-sectional, and welfare implications of three alternative scenarios: elimination of the spousal benefits, elimination of the progressivity of benefits, and the two changes combined. Agents start out as permanently married or single and with education levels and wage profiles, where the latter depend both on education and gender. The household is the decision maker and decides on the labor supply of its member(s) and saving. The aggregate production function has as inputs capital and labor aggregated by efficiency. Eliminating the spousal benefit provision has substantial effects. The labor force participation of married women increases by 4.5% and households composed of men with relatively high education and women with relatively low education experience significant welfare losses. When only the progressivity is eliminated, there is a decline in labor force participation of married females and households composed of men with relatively high education and women with relatively low education experience significant welfare gains. When both are eliminated, the labor force participation of married women increases and households composed of two members with high education gain most.

Suggested Citation

  • Remzi Kaygusuz, 2007. "Social Security and Two-Earner Households," 2007 Meeting Papers 677, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed007:677
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    Cited by:

    1. Cagri S. Kumru & John Piggott, 2017. "Optimal Capital Income Taxation with Means-tested Benefits," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 64(3), pages 227-262, July.
    2. Guner, Nezih & Kaygusuz, Remzi & Ventura, Gustavo, 2008. "Taxation, Aggregates and the Household," IZA Discussion Papers 3318, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Fehr, Hans & Kallweit, Manuel & Kindermann, Fabian, 2017. "Families and social security," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 30-56.
    4. Shinichi Nishiyama, 2010. "The Joint Labor Supply Decision of Married Couples and the Social Security Pension System," Working Papers wp229, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    5. Alfonso R. Sanchez Martín & Virginia SanchezMarcos, 2010. "Demographic Change and Pension Reform in Spain: An Assessment in a Two-Earner, OLG Model," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 31(3), pages 405-452, September.
    6. Guner, Nezih & Kaygusuz, Remzi & Ventura, Gustavo, 2013. "Childcare Subsidies and Household Labor Supply," CEPR Discussion Papers 9775, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Groneck, Max & Schön, Matthias & Wallenius, Johanna, 2016. "You Better Get Married! Marital Status and Intra-Generational Redistribution of Social Security," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145801, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. Groneck, Max & Wallenius, Johanna, 2017. "It Sucks to Be Single! Marital Status and Redistribution of Social Security," SSE Working Paper Series in Economics 2017:1, Stockholm School of Economics.
    9. Bagis, Bilal, 2017. "Macroeconomic Implications of Changes in Social Security Rules," MPRA Paper 84051, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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