Wednesday, July 25, 2018

NBER Summer Institute Social Security Papers

SI 2018 Social Security

Jeffrey B. Liebman, Organizer

July 25, 2018

Supported by the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration

Summer Institute 2018 master schedule

Wednesday, July 25

Kathleen J. Mullen, RAND Corporation
Stephanie L. Rennane, RAND Corporation
The Effect of Unconditional Cash Transfers on the Return to Work of Permanently Disabled Workers

Andreas Haller, University of Zurich
Stefan Staubli, University of Calgary and NBER
Josef Zweimueller, University of Zurich
Tightening Disability Screening Or Reducing Disability Benefits? Evidence and Welfare Implications

Symposium on Disability Insurance
Karen Glenn, Social Security Administration
Stephen Goss, Social Security Administration
Nicole Maestas, Harvard University and NBER
Jeffrey B. Liebman, Harvard University and NBER

Jonathan Gruber, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and NBER
Ohto Kanninen, Labor Institute for Economic Research
The Effect of Relabeling and Incentives on Retirement: Evidence from a Pension Reform

Antoine Bozio, Institute for Fiscal Studies
Thomas Breda, Paris School of Economics
Julien Grenet, Paris School of Economics
Tax-benefit linkage and Incidence of Social Security Contributions: Evidence from France

Kathleen McKiernan, University of Minnesota
Welfare Impacts of Social Security Reform: The Case of Chile in 1981

Gopi Shah Goda, Stanford University and NBER
Matthew Levy, London School of Economics
Colleen Flaherty Manchester, University of Minnesota
Aaron Sojourner, University of Minnesota
Joshua Tasoff, Claremont Graduate University
Mechanisms behind Retirement Saving Behavior: Evidence from Administrative and Survey Data

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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Hearing July 25th: How the Multiemployer Pension System Affects Stakeholders



How the Multiemployer Pension System Affects Stakeholders
Wednesday, July 25, 2018

215 Dirksen Senate Office Building

10:00 AM

Hearing will be webcast

The following witnesses are scheduled to testify:

Mr. James P. Naughton, Assistant Professor and Donald P. Jacobs Scholar, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL

Mr. Joshua D. Rauh, Ph.D, Director of Research and Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Mr. Kenneth Stribling, Retired Teamster, Milwaukee, WI

Mr. Timothy P. Lynch, Senior Director Government Relations Practice, Morgan, Lewis, and  Bockius LLP, Annapolis, MD

Senator Hatch's Statement|Senator Brown's Statement

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Monday, July 23, 2018

Savings and Retirement Foundation with SSA’s Hillary Waldron, July 25.

Join us for a Lunch Meeting with Guest Speaker:
Hillary Waldron
Economist with the Office of Economic Analysis and Comparative Studies, Social Security Administration

Who will discuss her new SSA paper:
“Working and Claiming Behavior at Social Security’s Early Entitlement Age (EEA)”
July 25, 2018
Noon-1:00 p.m.
Willard Office Building
1455 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
(Lunch will be provided)

There is considerable interest in evaluating the potential effects of proposals to increase Social Security’s Early Entitlement Age (EEA) in the Social Security policy literature (Waldron 2015). Additionally, there is interest in evaluating proposed changes to Social Security’s retired worker benefit that seek to shield Social Security fully insured workers deemed to be most vulnerable to those proposed changes (Waldron 2012, 2013). This project aims to contribute to both strands of that literature by extracting potentially relevant empirical information from Social Security’s administrative data files.
To provide a first look at the data, this paper is limited to observations of work behavior at ages 61 and 63 and claiming behavior at Social Security’s Early Entitlement Age (EEA) of 62—that is at the age at which workers are first eligible to claim Social Security retired worker benefits. Under current law, retired worker benefits are reduced a fraction of a percent for each month a worker claims before his or her full retirement age(FRA).


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Monday, July 16, 2018

Smith: Fixing Social Security starts with the voters

Writing for Market Watch, Brenton Smith argues that the responsibility for the failure to enact Social Security reform isn’t merely Congress’s fault; rather, it’s due to voters who don’t have a strong understanding of the program and the problems it faces:

Here’s a hard truth: Politicians are not problem solvers. They are consensus builders, distilling a range of ideas into actionable legislation. It is their job to shake hands and scratch backs until sufficient agreement emerges that a proposal is generally acceptable to voters.

In order for that process to thrive, there has to be some fabric of fact on which to build consensus. Today that foundation does not exist. Instead, the discussion of Social Security has devolved into a contentious shouting match in which hyperbole and myth frequently pass for truth. No sensible politician will attempt to build agreement in that forum of discussion.

I think Smith is partly true. Yes, voters don’t understand Social Security policy very well. Guess what? Members of Congress don’t understand it too well either.

But I think they both understand it well enough. The root of the problem, as I see it, is that – for all the talk of  helping our grandchildren – both voters and politicians selfish. Voters, or at least the median voter, would prefer to stick tomorrow’s generation with the tough decisions rather than having to bear those costs today. Politicians would rather acquiesce to that than lose re-election.

This, I think, is a major reason why educational campaigns on Social Security (or Medicare, or the debt) haven’t succeeded. The problem isn’t a lack of knowledge, although that knowledge deficit surely exists. It’s human nature, a desire to favor yourself over other people, even if those other people are your grandchildren.

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