What Can We Learn from Analyzing Historical Data on Social Security Entitlements?

Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71, No. 4, pp. 1-13, 2011

13 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2011 Last revised: 25 Apr 2015

See all articles by Joyce Manchester

Joyce Manchester

Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office

Jae Song

U.S. Social Security Administration

Date Written: November 1, 2011

Abstract

We use data from Social Security administrative records to examine the lifetime patterns of initial entitlement to retired-worker and Disability Insurance (DI) benefits across cohorts born in different years. Breaking out age-at-entitlement patterns for different birth-year cohorts reveals close adherence in entitlement ages to changes in program rules, such as increasing the full retirement age. The proportion of a cohort that becomes newly entitled to DI benefits rises noticeably during recessions and at ages 50 and 55, and cumulative entitlement rate patterns show that more recent cohorts rely increasingly on DI benefits in their late 30s and 40s.

Keywords: Social Security, Disability Insurance, entitlements, longitudinal

JEL Classification: H310, J140

Suggested Citation

Manchester, Joyce and Song, Jae, What Can We Learn from Analyzing Historical Data on Social Security Entitlements? (November 1, 2011). Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 71, No. 4, pp. 1-13, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1953311

Joyce Manchester (Contact Author)

Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office ( email )

United States
802-828-3099 (Phone)
802-828-2483 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.leg.state.vt.us/jfo

Jae Song

U.S. Social Security Administration ( email )

Washington, DC 20254
United States
202-358-6403 (Phone)
202-358-6192 (Fax)

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