A team of four economists has suggested that possibility in a new working paper on how access to Social Security benefits affects private savings.
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A working paper is an informal discussion draft of an academic research paper.
Sita Slavov, a public policy professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and three colleagues have published the Social Security savings impact working paper behind a paywall on the website of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
The economists used government survey data from the 1960s through the 1990s, and information about tax and benefits changes, to look for evidence that major changes in Social Security benefits had affected consumer behavior.
Social Security changes that took effect in 1977 had no clear, statistically significant effect on people’s savings, the team concludes.
The economists also looked at another batch of data related to 1983 Social Security changes. The economists came up with several ways to measure the impact of the 1983 changes on consumer behavior. One involved changes in actual savings rates.
Another strategy involved a 1983 Social Security benefits cut for children who were in college when their parents died.