Early Social Security Claiming and Old-Age Poverty: Evidence from the Introduction of the Social Security Early Eligibility Age

Gary V. Engelhardt, Jonathan Gruber, Anil Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We estimate the impact of the Social Security early entitlement age (EEA) on later-life income, poverty, and mortality, by tracing birth cohorts of men who had access to different potential claiming ages from the Social Security Amendments of 1961, which introduced age 62 as the EEA. Based on 1968-2001 Current Population Survey data, the average claiming age fell by 1.4 years, Social Security income fell for male-headed families by 2.4% at the mean and 6% at the 25th percentile. Total family income fell, and the poverty rate rose by about one percentage point. Finally, mortality rates fell modestly in retirement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-59
Number of pages59
JournalJournal of Human Resources
Volume57
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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