Social Security Wealth, Inequality, and Life-cycle Saving: An Update

Social Security wealth (SSW) is the present value of future benefits an individual will receive less the present value of future taxes they will pay. When an individual enters the labor force, they generally face a lifetime of taxes to…

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A Framework for Cost-Benefit Analysis of Totalization Agreements

International social security totalization agreements eliminate double social security taxation for workers who reside and work in different country from their home country. Because totalization agreements affect a number of economic agents in a variety of ways, we develop a…

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Mixed-methods Analysis of Consumer Fraud Reports of the Social Security Imposter Scam

Despite the growing prevalence of Social Security imposter scams, there has been no academic research on this subtype of fraud. One problem is that general sample surveys do not ask respondents about the individual subtypes of government imposter scams they…

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Winter 2020 Newsletter: Panel offers a tune up for SSA trustees’ report

Every year the Social Security Administration’s Board of Trustees and the Office of the Chief Actuary (OCACT) produce a report on the health of the Old Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance (OASDI) trust funds. OCACT’s projections rest on…

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Winter 2020 newsletter: Director’s corner

John Laitner The Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 80, No. 1 (February 2020), was devoted to review articles on activities over the fiscal years 2008 to 2017 of the three retirement and two disability research centers sponsored by the Social Security…

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Setting Expectations for Claimant Ability to Work: Investigating the Occupational Requirements and Functional Capacity of Workers with Early Onset Health Conditions

When determining a claimant’s eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) assesses whether his/her health condition (e.g., back/spine problems) sufficiently impairs his/her functional capacity (e.g., ability to lift/carry weight) so that the he/she is…

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Estimating the Effects of the Totalization Agreements

This paper quantifies the effects of the totalization agreements that coordinate the United States Social Security program with the comparable programs of other countries. For each treated country that has signed an agreement with the U.S., we construct a synthetic…

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How Would 401(k) ‘Rothification’ Alter Saving, Retirement Security, and Inequality?

The U.S. has long incentivized retirement saving in 401(k) and similar retirement accounts by permitting workers to defer taxes on contributions, levying them instead when retirees withdraw funds in retirement. This paper develops a dynamic life-cycle model to show how…

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