2022

Explanations for the Decline in Spending at Older Ages

WP 2022-440 , UM21-10
We use new data from the 2019 wave of the Consumption and Activities Mail Survey to help interpret the observed decline in spending as individuals age. At one extreme, forward-looking individuals optimally chose the decline; at the other, myopic individuals…

2021

Public Pension Design and Household Retirement Decisions: A Comparison of the United States and Germany

WP 2021-417 , UM19-13
Social Security provides retirement benefits to age-eligible workers and their spouses. Benefits are permanently increased if initial receipt is delayed. For benefits paid to spouses, these incentives reflect a complex interaction of the worker’s and spouse’s earnings histories, benefit claiming…

The Causes and Consequences of Opioid Use among Older Americans: A Panel Survey Approach

WP 2021-419 , UM20-14
This study examines the effects of prescription opioid analgesic use for older Americans, specifically with regard to work disability and disability program participation. We draw on the long-panel structure of the Health and Retirement Study and a newly available 2009…

Underfunded Public Sector Pension Plans, Social Security Participation, and the Retirement Decisions of Public Employees

WP 2021-420 , UM20-05
I analyze the effects of public pension parameters, Social Security coverage, and state pension fund sustainability on the retirement of public employees. I use data from the Health and Retirement Study, including personal early and normal retirement eligibility and state…

Is the Adjustment of Social Security Benefits Actuarially Fair, and If So, for Whom?

WP 2021-421 , UM20-06
Disparities in Social Security claim ages have risen since the early 1990s. With high earners increasingly likely to delay claiming, and also living longer on average than lower earners, late claimants may differ in critical ways from early claimants. Using…

The Effect of the Americans with Disabilities Act on Social Security Disability Insurance

WP 2021-422 , UM21-01
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990 and implemented in 1992 with the goal of providing disabled workers with employment protections and workplace accommodations. A number of studies have examined the ADA’s impact on disabled individuals’ employment.…

Heterogeneity in Self-Employment and the Transition to Retirement among Older Adults in the United States

WP 2021-423 , UM21-14
The fraction of workers who are self-employed increases with age, but the types of self-employment that older workers do and the effects of this work on their well-being is not well understood. This project examines such heterogeneity by considering how…

Workplace Injuries and Receipt of Benefits from Workers Compensation and SSDI*

WP 2021-424 , UM21-16
We use data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and matched Social Security Administration (SSA) data to study two questions. First, we examine evidence on whether workers who suffer permanently disabling injuries covered by workers’ compensation (WC) subsequently end…

Auto-Enrollment Retirement Plans in OregonSaves

WP 2021-425 , UM19-03
Oregon recently launched an automatic-enrollment retirement savings program for private sector workers lacking access to other workplace retirement plans. We analyze participation choices, account balances, and inflow/outflow data using administrative records between August 2018 and April 2020. Within the small-…

The Early Impacts of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Americans’ Economic Security

WP 2021-426 , UM21-11
The COVID-19 pandemic has had enormous effects on the U.S. economy and may have had serious negative repercussions for many Americans’ financial stability. We use longitudinal survey data from a nationally representative internet panel, the Understanding America Study, to examine…
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