Social Security Benefits and the Accumulation of Preretirement Wealth
33 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2004
Date Written: May 1980
This paper uses a new and particularly well-suited body of data to assess the impact of social security retirement benefits on private savings. The Retirement History Survey combines survey evidence on the wealth of couples in their early sixties with detailed information from the administrative records of the Social Security Administration on the lifetime earnings of those individuals and the social security benefits to which they are entitled. The present paper uses these data to estimate a model of the determination of preretirement net worth. On balance, the estimates developed in this study favor the extended life cycle model as a theory of asset accumulation and indicate a substantial substitution of social security wealth for private wealth accumulation.
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