A Quarterly Newsletter provides updates on current MRRC projects including recent research findings as well as information about upcoming events and information that may be of interest to the academic and policy communities. Join our mailing list for this publication.

Policy Briefs offer summary and analysis of current issues in Social Security, retirement and pension policy.

Working Papers provide rapid dissemination of MRRC research findings. Many working papers are later published in journals and books. Bound copies of working papers are available on request.

Research Briefs offer concise summaries of key research findings from MRRC projects.

In the Researcher Q&A series our affiliated researchers discuss the findings and implications of their MRRC-supported research.

Conference Papers from the Annual Meeting of the Retirement Research Consortium are available for all presentations.

All MRRC publications may be printed directly from this website.

All Publications


Inflation and Economic Security of the Older Population

MRDRC WP 2024-480 , UM23-12
Because the older population are net lenders, they tend to be economically vulnerable to high and increasing inflation. This research used data from the Health and Retirement Study and its supplement, the Consumption and Activities Mail Survey, to assess the…


Retirement Pensions and Disability Insurance for the 21st Century

WP 2023-455 , UM22-02
This project estimates the degree of disability risk among the United States and English over-50 populations. Using a disability measure that closely matches the criteria used by English and U.S. disability systems, we find both higher levels of disability in…

Traditional and Nontraditional Earnings: Demographic, Financial, and Beneficiary Patterns

WP 2023-456 , UM22-06
We use the 2014 and 2018 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation to create a schema of earnings that come from employee and nonemployee sources. Traditional earnings are from a job or incorporated business, while nontraditional earnings…

Social Security’s Role in Economic Security: Evidence and Insight from an Analysis of Multiprogram Participation

MRDRC WP 2023-478 , UM23-11
We use the 2014 and 2018 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation to assess multiprogram participation — the number of public programs or subsidies that an individual is a beneficiary of at a given time. Our aim…

The Effect of the Social Security Student Benefit on Lifetime Earnings

MRDRC WP 2023-479 , UM23-14
Between 1965 and 1981, Social Security extended eligibility for dependent benefits from age 18 to age 22 for individuals who were enrolled full-time in school. The “student benefit” ended in 1981, and past research has shown that the benefit’s elimination…

Using Administrative Data to Validate HRS Survey Responses on Application for DI and SSI Disability Benefits

WP 2023-462 , UM20-01
In this paper, we use administrative data from the Social Security Administration to validate survey responses for the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) regarding the application for disability benefits from Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI),…

How Does Social Security Affect the Racial Wealth Gap?

WP 2023-459 , UM22-10
The large and persistent gap by race in U.S. household wealth is a well-established empirical fact, though the causal mechanisms for wealth differentials are still a subject of much debate. Previous research on wealth inequality has shown that expanding the…

Disparities in Social Security Knowledge and the Role of Social Capital

WP 2023-458 , UM22-12
In this paper, we develop a new survey that seeks to better understand how differences in information sources (both formal and informal) across racial and ethnic groups contribute to knowledge and planning for retirement. We consider several scenarios where people…
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