NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Social Security Benefits and the Accumulation of Preretirement Wealth

Martin Feldstein

NBER Working Paper No. 477 (Also Reprint No. r0608)
Issued in May 1980
NBER Program(s):   PE

This paper uses a new and particularly well-suited body of data to assess the impact of social security retirement benefits on private savings. The Retirement History Survey combines survey evidence on the wealth of couples in their early sixties with detailed information from the administrative records of the Social Security Administration on the lifetime earnings of those individuals and the social security benefits to which they are entitled. The present paper uses these data to estimate a model of the determination of preretirement net worth. On balance, the estimates developed in this study favor the extended life cycle model as a theory of asset accumulation and indicate a substantial substitution of social security wealth for private wealth accumulation.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w0477

Published: Feldstein, Martin. "Social Security Benefits and the Accumulation of Preretirement Wealth." The Determinants of National Saving and Wealth, edited by Franco Modigliani and Richard Hemming, pp. 3-23. New York: St. Martin's Press, (1983).

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