2019

UM19-04: Forecasting Survival by Socioeconomic Status and Implications for Social Security Benefits

Both wealth and mortality inequality have increased, which will lead to greater aggregate Social Security payouts because individuals with greater annual benefits will live longer. An important question is whether the trend in mortality inequality will continue. We propose a…

UM19-05: Interest Rate Trends in a Global Context: Expanding the Evidence Base for Forecasting

Real interest rates have been declining both in the U.S. and across the developed world. Some of the underlying global economic conditions that are thought to have caused this decline (e.g., world population growth and productivity slowdowns) are expected to…

UM19-06: Subjective Expectations, Social Security Benefits, and Saving for Retirement

Americans reach retirement with varying degrees of preparation, with many facing shortfalls in savings. We propose to use unique survey data collected among respondents to the Understanding America Study to measure the relative roles of subjective beliefs about retirement income — particularly…

UM19-07: How Reliant Are Older Americans on State and Local Government Pensions?

State and local government pension plans cover about 19.5 million participants, and many participants are heavily reliant on these pensions for retirement income. Yet, most plans are underfunded. This proposed research will quantify how many Americans are entitled to these…

UM19-08: Predicting Expected Medical Recovery Using Return to Work Among Veterans

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and nonelderly Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries face strong incentives not to work because their benefits could be sharply reduced. Most beneficiaries of Veterans Affairs (VA) Disability Compensation (DC) face no such incentive. We examine…

UM19-09: Investigating the Functional Capacities, Occupational Requirements, and Vocational Characteristics of Workers with Early Onset Impairments

The validity and reliability of the tools SSA uses to assess claimant physical and mental functional capacity and physical and mental occupational requirements is critical to the effective provision of disability benefits and employment support services. This project will use…

UM19-10: The Alignment of Household Preferences and Financial Decisions Leading up to Retirement

This project will link survey and administrative data to investigate how within-couple differences in preferences and decision-making abilities affect household finances. We study whether misalignment of preferences or abilities influences choices and, thus, retirement readiness.

UM19-11: On the Distribution and Dynamics of Medical Expenditure among the Elderly

Using data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS), we estimate the stochastic process for total medical spending and its components.  By focusing on dynamics, we consider not only the risk of catastrophic…

UM19-12: How Would 401(k) Rothification Influence Consumption, Saving, and Social Security Claiming Behavior?

The US incentivizes retirement saving in 401(k) and similar retirement accounts by permitting workers to defer taxes on contributions; taxes are then levied only when retirees withdraw their funds. Yet the Treasury foregoes over $100B/year due to tax-deferred contributions to…

UM19-13: Public Pension Design and Household Retirement Decisions: Cross-national Comparisons

This project aims to document household labor force participation responsiveness to social security program incentives in various countries. It will demonstrate anew the significance of these incentives using newly harmonized data on countries participating in the global Health and Retirement…

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