UM23-01: Who Benefits from Retirement Saving Incentives in the U.S.? Evidence on Racial Gaps in Retirement Wealth Accumulation

Retirement saving is heavily subsidized in the U.S. Employers and the federal government devote a combined $300 billion annually to encourage contributions to defined contribution (DC) schemes. This institutional design rewards those who can, and do, save more for retirement.…

UM23-02: Medical Spending Risk among the Elderly by Race and Gender

Using data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) linked to administrative Medicare and Medicaid records, along with the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), we estimate the stochastic process for total and out-of-pocket medical spending by race and gender. By…

UM23-03: How Redistributive Is the U.S Social Security System Today?

This project will quantify the extent of current redistribution within the United States Social Security program, incorporating mortality, marriage, and claiming age differentials by minority status, lifetime earnings, and marital status.

UM23-04: Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Disparities in Labor Market Outcomes in the Aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Using existing and new data from the Understanding America Study, we will document racial, ethnic, and gender disparities in the type of work (e.g., full/part-time, gig work), work-from-home arrangements, and schedule flexibility introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic and track their…

UM23-05: Estimating Racial Disparities in Economic Outcomes

This project will review the literature on methods for estimating racial disparities in economic outcomes with a specific focus on how controls for other factors (e.g., education) are or are not included in such analyses. These methods would be compared…

UM23-06: Racial and ethnic differences in job characteristics and patterns in disability retirement and Social Security retirement wealth

Using Health and Retirement Study data together with rich job characteristic data from O*NET, we will identify variables related to work context that characterize jobs based on levels of physiological and psychological stress. We will evaluate differences by race/ethnicity, explore…

UM23-07: Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Effects of COVID-19 on Job Separation and Financial Precarity

Drawing on Health and Retirement Study data collected in 2021, we will examine racial differences in the COVID-19 pandemic’s consequences on financial security. We hypothesize that, relative to their white counterparts, Black and Hispanic older workers were more likely to…

UM23-08: Mixed-methods study on work-disabled adults who do not apply for Social Security disability benefits

Fewer than 50% of all American adults with work disabilities currently receive disability benefits, presenting a stark divergence between self-reported work-disability prevalence and disability awards. Yet, we know little about how work-disabled adults make their decisions about whether and when…

UM23-09: Understanding the Social Security Communication Needs of Hispanics with Limited English Language Proficiency

According to United States census data, there are approximately 20 million adults with limited English proficiency (LEP) in the country, of whom more than 65% are Spanish speakers. This study aims to provide initial insights into the Social Security communications…

UM23-10: The Mortality Impacts of the SSDI Waiting Periods

Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries face two waiting periods before they receive benefits.  There is a five-month waiting period for cash benefits and a subsequent 24-month waiting period for Medicare benefits.  Because of these rules, some individuals with disabilities may…

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