Estimating the Effects of the Totalization Agreements

Published: 2019
Project ID: UM19-Q2


This project aims to quantify the effects of the totalization agreements that the United States has established since the late 1970s to coordinate its Social Security program with the comparable programs of other countries. Taking advantage of the fact that the bilateral agreements between the U.S. and other countries were signed in different years, we propose a difference-in-difference framework that allows us to identify the causal effects of the totalization agreements which could vary over time and across countries. Using this framework, we plan to study the effects on foreign direct investment, international labor mobility and bilateral trade. We expect the results of this study to be informative of the overall effectiveness of the totalization agreements and to provide guidance on the choice of countries with which the U.S. should sign an agreement next to achieve the maximum gains.



Ananth Seshadri