NB20-03: Social Security Beneficiaries and Aged SSI Recipients by State & County, 1970-2018: Description and Dataset
I will create a dataset with rate of OASI and SSI benefit receipt among seniors by county and year from 1970 to 2018. Payment information will also be included. A paper will showcase the dataset and discuss key insights that arise from looking at the level of OASI/SSI participation across counties over a long period of time. The dataset and a codebook will be made freely available (e.g., via the SSA and/or NBER websites). The
long-term payoff will be the creation of a detailed, publicly available data asset that can be used to examine a wide variety of questions around the resources and risks available to seniors, and how they vary across local communities over time. It will build on the creation of a similar DI/SSI county-level dataset covering the working-age population (a current RDRC project). Research using geographic variation in the receipt of OASI and SSI has been hampered by the lack of readily available longitudinal data. SSA publishes OASDI Beneficiaries by State and County and SSI Recipients by State and County each year, but these are underutilized because they are in paper form until 1998 and
subsequently as online state-specific PDF/Excel files. I have collected and digitized these publications back to 1970, and will use the output to create a dataset with ~150,000 county-year observations spanning 48 years. Researchers will be able to use it for standalone analysis, merge it with other socioeconomic data, or use it to explore the potential of a topic before seeking more detailed administrative data.
The project will deliver a dataset, a detailed codebook and an article. ● Data will be checked for accuracy and coding made consistent over time;
● Population data compiled by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program of the National Cancer Institute will be merged and disability benefit rates calculated;
● Codebook written to explain the structure of the dataset and describing the variables;
● Analyze data to examine characteristics such as: regions with the highest/lowest OASI, SSI, and combined Social Security/SSI benefit rates for those aged 65+ over time (e.g., 1970s, 1990s, 2010s); how the level of payments in different locations matches living costs (e.g, housing and other costs); persistence of these benefit rates within counties; correlation between OASI and SSI incidence rates within counties; and the regions and characteristics of counties with high/low benefit rates;
● An article will be written describing the most important and interesting facts that come out of the analysis. It will also describe the dataset.
Supported by the Social Security Administration grant #RDR18000003
More from NBER
In addition to working papers, the NBER disseminates affiliates’ latest findings through a range of free periodicals — the NBER Reporter, the NBER Digest, the Bulletin on Retirement and Disability, the Bulletin on Health, and the Bulletin on Entrepreneurship — as well as online conference reports, video lectures, and interviews.