Estimating the Impact of Missing Totalization Agreements

Published: 2021
Project ID: UM21-Q4


The number of international social security agreements (totalization agreements) signed by the U.S. is significantly smaller than the number signed by other countries such as Canada and the U.K. This paper aims to estimate the impact of the missing totalization agreements — the agreements that other countries such as Mexico and Turkey have signed with either Canada or the U.K. or both but not the U.S. We use a difference-in-differences framework to study whether such missing agreements have put the U.S. at a disadvantage relative to Canada and the U.K. in terms of cross-country flows of both goods and labor, and if so, by how much. The results of this study are informative on whether the U.S. could benefit from additional totalization agreements, and if so, with which countries.