[ NTA logo ]

Does the Social Security Earnings Test Affect Labor Supply and Benefits Receipt?

Gruber, Jonathan and Orszag, Peter

Abstract:

The Social Security earnings test reduces payments to beneficiaries whose labor income exceeds a given threshold. We investigate the impact of this rule by studying the significant changes in its structure over the past 25 years. We find that the earnings test exerts no robust influence on the labor supply decisions of men, although there is some suggestive evidence for a labor supply response among women. We also find that loosening the earnings test accelerates benefits receipt among the eligible population, lowering benefits levels, and heightening concerns about the standard of living of these elderly at very advanced ages.

Citation

Gruber, Jonathan and Orszag, Peter (2003), Does the Social Security Earnings Test Affect Labor Supply and Benefits Receipt?, National Tax Journal, 56:4, pp. 755-73

DOI: dx.doi.org/10.17310/ntj.2003.4.03