Disparities in Social Security Knowledge and the Role of Social Capital
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 might be eligible for Social Security benefits in times of need and seek to understand where individuals turn for information in these scenarios. Overall, we find that there are a wide variety of information sources that people approach in these times. Notably, different racial and ethnic groups expect to make use of different information sources. Furthermore, knowledge is associated with where people turn for information. To address disparities in knowledge, information campaigns could consider differentiating channels of information to better engaged less well-informed groups. This research doesn’t identify a single information source that would reach all people.
- There are a wide variety of information sources that people approach in times of need.
- Different racial and ethnic groups expect to make use of different information sources.
- Knowledge is associated with where people turn for information.
- The non-Hispanic Black group who were surveyed indicated that they would turn to religious organizations and social services to obtain information about retirement planning and/or Social Security.
- Asian respondents indicated that they would seek information from employers.
- There is greater diversity in the sources cited by Hispanics.
Carman, Katherine, Samer Atshan, and Jhacova Williams. 2023. “Disparities in Social Security Knowledge and the Role of Social Capital.” Ann Arbor, MI. University of Michigan Retirement and Disability Research Center (MRDRC) Working Paper; MRDRC WP 2023-458. https://mrdrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/papers/pdf/wp458.pdf
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Paper IDWP 2023-458