UM12-04: Behavioral Effects of Social Security Policies on Benefit Claiming, Retirement and Saving



This paper specifies three behavioral variants of a structural model of retirement and saving to bring predicted Social Security claiming rates closer to the rates observed in the data. The model, estimated with Health and Retirement Study data, is used to examine three potential policies: increasing early entitlement age, increasing normal retirement age, and eliminating payroll taxes after normal retirement age. Behavioral responses to increasing early entitlement age and eliminating the payroll tax are not affected by the behavioral variant used. Predicted effects of increasing the normal retirement age exhibit more sensitivity. Heterogeneity shapes the responses to these policy changes.


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