Changing Social Security Survivorship Benefits and the Poverty of Widows

33 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2000 Last revised: 29 Aug 2014

See all articles by Michael D. Hurd

Michael D. Hurd

RAND Corporation; State University of New York at Stony Brook - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

David A. Wise

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: September 1991

Abstract

The paper considers the effect on widows' poverty of changes in Social Security survivorship benefits, by a reduction in couples' benefits so that total Social Security cost is unchanged. A twenty percent increase in survivorship benefits, for example, would reduce the 1989 poverty rate of widows aged 65 to 69 by about twenty-four percent, from 0.25 to 0.19. The poverty rate of couples would be increased by about thirty-three percent, from about 0.06 to about 0.08.

Suggested Citation

Hurd, Michael D. and Wise, David A., Changing Social Security Survivorship Benefits and the Poverty of Widows (September 1991). NBER Working Paper No. w3843. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=226747

Michael D. Hurd (Contact Author)

RAND Corporation ( email )

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State University of New York at Stony Brook - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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David A. Wise

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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