The Effects of Changes in Women’s Labor Market Attachment on Redistribution Under the Social Security Benefit Formula

Published: 2011
Project ID: UM11-06


Despite a progressive payout formula designed to redistribute OASI benefits in favor of low earners, studies using data from the early 1990s found the Social Security old age and survivors program fostered less redistribution than expected. High income families were less likely to have two earners, increasing the importance of their spouse and survivor benefits. Some studies argued that as participation by women from high income families increased, progressivity would increase. This project will compare outcomes among HRS cohorts to determine whether Social Security old age and survivors insurance has now become more redistributive as female labor force participation has increased over time.