Understanding Patterns of Social Security Benefit Receipt, Pensions Incomes, Retirement and Saving by Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Marital Status: A Structural Approach

51 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2008

See all articles by Alan L. Gustman

Alan L. Gustman

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Thomas L. Steinmeier

Texas Tech University - Department of Economics and Geography

Date Written: July 1, 2004

Abstract

In this paper we use data from the Health and Retirement Study to examine differences in retirement behavior, wealth, Social Security and pension benefits by race and gender. The differences observed among groups are sometimes substantial. We then estimate models jointly explaining retirement and wealth by race and gender. We decompose differences in outcomes into those due to differences in parameters of the preference function for leisure and goods, time preference rates, and those due to differences in the circumstances of the members of each group. By circumstances we mean both the opportunity set, and factors that determine the disutility of continued work, such as health status. We find that differences in outcomes among white, black and Hispanic males are not due to differences in preferences for leisure and goods consumption, but are due both to differences in time preference and to differences in circumstances. Differences in outcomes between men and women are primarily due to differences in preferences.

Suggested Citation

Gustman, Alan L. and Steinmeier, Thomas L., Understanding Patterns of Social Security Benefit Receipt, Pensions Incomes, Retirement and Saving by Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Marital Status: A Structural Approach (July 1, 2004). Michigan Retirement Research Center Research Paper No. WP 2004-082, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1092919 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1092919

Alan L. Gustman (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

6106 Rockefeller Center
Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603-646-2641 (Phone)
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
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Thomas L. Steinmeier

Texas Tech University - Department of Economics and Geography ( email )

Lubbock, TX 79409-2101
United States
806-742-2201 (Phone)

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