Estimating Earnings Adjustment Frictions: Method and Evidence from the Social Security Earnings Test
73 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2013
Date Written: October 2013
We introduce a method for estimating the cost of adjusting earnings, as well as the earnings elasticity. Our method uses information on bunching in the earnings distribution at convex budget set kinks before and after policy-induced changes in the magnitude of the kinks: the larger is the adjustment cost, the smaller is the absolute change in bunching from before to after the policy change. In the context of the Social Security Earnings Test, our results demonstrate that the short-run impact of changes in the effective marginal tax rate can be substantially attenuated.
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