EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

The Rise of Retirement Among African Americans: Wealth and Social Security Effects

Dora Costa

No 14462, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: I examine the effects of an unearned income transfer on the retirement rates and living arrangements of a very poor population by studying the effects of pensions on the decisions of black Union Army veterans. I find that blacks were 2 to 5 times 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. I argue that blacks' greater poverty explains their responsiveness to pensions. My findings have implications for understanding racial differences in trends in retirement and independent living. I show that the retirement rates of both blacks and whites rose between 1900 and 1930 but that convergence in black and white rates and in living arrangements only occurred between 1930 and 1950. I argue that income effects from the institution of Social Security explain up to half of the convergence in black-white retirement rates and in living arrangements.

JEL-codes: J14 J26 N31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age, nep-his and nep-lab
Note: AG DAE LS PE
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.nber.org/papers/w14462.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14462

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
http://www.nber.org/papers/w14462

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().

 
Page updated 2020-04-22
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14462