Policy Interactions between Increases in the Normal Retirement Age and Age Discrimination Laws

Published: 2011
Project ID: UM11-15


Population aging challenges the solvency of Social Security, which has led to reform proposals intended to increase the labor supply of seniors. The imperative to delay retirements of older workers, however, may be frustrated by continuing age discrimination; conversely, combating age discrimination should enhance the effects of Social Security reforms meant to encourage work. The proposed research tests for a policy complementarity between stronger age discrimination laws and pro-work Social Security reforms, based on recent increases in the NRA interacted with across-state differences in the strength and enforcement of age discrimination laws. The empirical analysis is based on a differences-in-differences-in-differences research design, using HRS data from 2000-2008. The analysis uses a detailed compendium — constructed as part of this research — of differences in statutory, judicial, and enforcement differences in state age discrimination laws.


David Neumark