2018

Addressing Social Security’s Solvency While Promoting High Labor Force Participation

WP 2018-386, UM18-10

A number of proposals and options to address OASI trust-fund solvency have been suggested in recent years. The present work attempts to examine solvency-promoting reforms from the standpoint of economic efficiency — that is, from the perspective of their effect…

The Decline in the U.S. Labor Force Participation Rate

WP 2018-385, UM18-Q2

After peaking around the year 2000, the Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) of Americans declined substantially, falling faster after the financial crisis of 2007. Since 2015, the LFPR has remained at its lowest in four decades. In this paper, we…

Social Security Household Benefits: Measuring Program Knowledge

WP 2018-384, UM18-05

Social Security offers two types of benefits for spouses: spousal and survivor benefits. Regardless of his or her own work history, a married individual can claim spousal Social Security benefits, which are equal to half of his or her spouse’s…

Using Consequence Messaging to Improve Understanding of Social Security

WP 2018-383, UM18-09

In this paper, we developed and evaluated “consequence messaging,” a behaviorally motivated communication strategy in which we used vignettes — video and written stories about hypothetical people — to explain the consequences of decisions. We studied two related areas where…

SeaTE: Subjective ex ante Treatment Effect of Health on Retirement

WP 2018-382, UM17-06

This paper develops an innovative approach to measuring the effect of health on retirement. The approach elicits subjective probabilities of working at specified time horizons fixing health level. Using a treatment-effect framework, within-individual differences in elicited probabilities of working given…

A Meta-Analysis of the Decline in the Labor Force Participation Rate

WP 2018-381, UM18-Q5

This project explores the causes behind the recent decline in the Labor Force Participation (LFP) rate. The analysis examines the evolution of the LFP rate for different demographic groups to gauge the effect of demographic changes. An integral part of…

Shocks and Transitions from Career Jobs to Bridge Jobs and Retirement: A New Approach

WP 2018-380, UM17-04

This research provides new empirical evidence on late-life labor market activities of American households from a new survey implemented under the Vanguard Research Initiative. The survey features following innovations: It measures detailed job characteristics not only of a career job…

Intergenerational Altruism and Transfers of Time and Money: A Life-cycle Perspective

WP 2018-379, UM17-15

Parental investments in children can take one of three broad forms: (1) Time investments during childhood and adolescence that aid child development, and in particular cognitive ability; (2) educational investments that improve school quality and hence educational outcomes; (3) cash…

Quicksand or Bedrock for Behavioral Economics? Assessing Foundational Empirical Questions

WP 2018-378, UM17-13

Behavioral economics lacks empirical evidence on some foundational questions. We adapt standard elicitation methods to measure multiple behavioral factors per person in a representative U.S. sample, along with financial condition, cognitive skills, financial literacy, classical preferences, and demographics. Individually, behavioral…

A Review of U.S. Federal and State Means-Tested Programs

WP 2018-376, UM17-Q1

This report presents a review of the major U.S. federal and state means-tested programs, including a review of how they operate, common features, and rules governing eligibility. The review covers the nature of the target recipient population, the nature of…