The NBER leads a long-term collaborative research project on social security systems
and retirement around the world, involving research teams from the United States, Canada, Japan and nine European countries. It is a signature project, impacting discussions of Social Security reform in the United States and many other countries.1 The Sloan Foundation has funded the most recent (10th) phase of this collaboration, which analyzes the social security reforms enacted in these countries over the last two decades, how they affect the financial incentives to work or retire at older ages and, in turn, how labor force behavior has changed.
This continuation proposal has two aims. The first is an integrative study on how social
security policy and reform affect work and retirement behavior, based on pooled data from all 12 participating countries. The second proposed aim incubates a new phase of research involving the entire 12- country research team. This phase will focus on Social Security and inequality. As part of the continuation project, we propose to examine the heterogeneous effects of Social Security reforms on benefit entitlements and work across the income distribution. In the longer term (beyond the scope of this proposal), we plan to broaden our focus to examine the relationship between Social Security and inequalities in health, work, and wellbeing at older ages.