NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Changing Social Security Survivorship Benefits and the Poverty of Widows

Michael D. Hurd, David A. Wise

NBER Working Paper No. 3843
Issued in September 1991
NBER Program(s):   AG

The paper considers the effect on widows' poverty of changes in Social Security survivorship benefits, by a reduction in couples' benefits so that total Social Security cost is unchanged. A twenty percent increase in survivorship benefits, for example, would reduce the 1989 poverty rate of widows aged 65 to 69 by about twenty-four percent, from 0.25 to 0.19. The poverty rate of couples would be increased by about thirty-three percent, from about 0.06 to about 0.08.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w3843

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