2019

2019 RDRC Meeting: Why Are 401(k)/IRA Balances Substantially Below Potential?

For most workers, 401(k)/IRA assets represent the main source of retirement savings outside of Social Security. These accounts can generate significant wealth if workers contribute consistently from a young age, keep their money in their accounts, and minimize their investment…

2019 RDRC Meeting: Auto-enrollment Retirement Plans for the People: Choices and Outcomes in OregonSaves

Insuring retirement security is an important challenge for our aging society, and policymakers are seeking ways to help individuals save more for retirement. The state of Oregon recently launched an auto-enrollment retirement savings program for private sector workers who lack…

2019 RDRC Meeting: Debt Stress and Mortgage Borrowing in Older Age: Implications for Economic Security in Retirement

The amount of financial debt held by U.S. seniors has grown substantially over the past decade. Prior research links higher debt levels to increased psychological stress and decreased physical health. For seniors, these effects may be exacerbated by fixed incomes…

2019 RDRC Meeting: Measuring Racial/Ethnic Retirement Wealth Inequality

As the U.S. population becomes more diverse, it will be increasingly important for policymakers addressing Social Security’s solvency to understand various racial and ethnic groups’ reliance on the program. To date, studies on retirement wealth have tended not to focus…

2019 RDRC Meeting: Housing Assistance and SSI Participation

Over the past 30 years, SSI caseloads have increased dramatically and currently provide 8.2 million recipients with $52 billion in cash assistance. In addition to cash and health care benefits, low-income disabled households typically qualify for housing assistance. This assistance…

2019 RDRC Meeting: Incentives for Home- and Community-based Care Under the Affordable Care Act: Implications for Supplemental Security Income Receipt

One in three 65-year-olds will require long-term care at some point in their lives. Medicaid currently covers these expenses for six out of 10 nursing home residents. Not all those who require care need enough help to justify moving into…

2019 RDRC Meeting: Grading Medicaid: Fiscal Federalism and Social Insurance in the United States

Social insurance programs are sometimes centralized, with all design and policy decisions made at the national level, and sometimes decentralized, with some level of local autonomy. In this paper, we study the trade-offs involved with decentralization of administration of social…

2019 RDRC Meeting: Economic Opportunity and Spatial Variation in Self-Reported Disability and Receipt of SSI & SSDI

There is substantial variation in both self-reported disability and receipt of federal disability assistance (SSI and SSDI) across U.S. counties. This project examines whether and to what extent spatial variation in economic opportunity—operationalized using place-based estimates of intergenerational economic mobility…

2019 RDRC Meeting: Trends in Opioid Use Among Social Security Disability Insurance Applicants

The prevalence of opioid use nationwide, coupled with the large share of new Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) awardees who have conditions associated with opioid use, suggests that opioid use may be common and increasing among SSDI applicants. But statistics…

2019 RDRC Meeting: Is the Rise in Illicit Opioids Affecting Labor Supply and Disability Claiming Rates?

This paper studies how the transition of the opioid crisis from misuse of prescription opioids to misuse of illicit opioids, such as heroin and fentanyl, is altering labor supply and disability claiming rates. There is widespread interest in understanding the…
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