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Pensions and Retirement Among Black Union Army Veterans

Dora Costa

The Journal of Economic History, 2010, vol. 70, issue 3, 567-592

Abstract: I examine the effects of an unearned income transfer on the retirement rates and living arrangements of black Union Army veterans. I find that blacks were more than twice as responsive as whites to income transfers in their retirement decisions and 6 to 8 times as responsive in their choice of independent living arrangements. My findings have implications for understanding racial differences in rates of retirement and independent living at the beginning of the twentieth century, the rise in retirement prior to 1930, and the subsequent convergence in black-white retirement rates and living arrangements.

Date: 2010
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