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About the Author(s)

Gopi Shah Goda

Gopi Shah Goda is a senior fellow and the deputy director of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) at Stanford University. She is a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, where she is affiliated with the NBER Aging Program, and a fellow of the Society of Actuaries.

Goda's research is primarily related to topics in the economics of aging in the United States that inform economic policy-making. Her recent studies include an examination of perceptual and behavioral biases and their relationship to retirement saving decisions and the effects of long-term care insurance on family members' work and location decisions. Her work has appeared in a variety of leading economics journals and has been supported by the Social Security Administration, the National Institute on Aging, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the TIAA Institute. She was the director of SIEPR's Young Scholars Program, 2009-16.

Prior to joining SIEPR, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research at Harvard University. She earned her PhD in economics from Stanford University in 2007 and her BS in mathematics and actuarial science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2000. She lives in Stanford with her husband and two sons.


John B. Shoven is the Charles R. Schwab Professor of Economics at Stanford University and the Buzz and Barbara McCoy Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution. He has been on the Stanford faculty since 1973, has been a research associate of the NBER for more than 40 years, and directed the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research for 20 years. He was chairman of the Stanford economics department from 1986-9 and was dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences from 1993 to 1998. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometrics Society.

The focus of Shoven's work has changed over the course of his career. Initially, he worked on developing applied general equilibrium models of the economy to be used for tax policy evaluation. Then, in the 1980s, he began to focus on pensions, retirement, and empirical finance. In the past 10 years, he has written extensively on Social Security. Over the years, he has written more than 100 professional articles and has authored or edited more than 20 books.

In the private sector, he is the Chairman of the Board of Cadence Design Systems and is a member of the boards of Exponent Inc., Financial Engines, and American Century Funds.

Sita Nataraj Slavov

Sita Nataraj Slavov is a professor of public policy at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, and a faculty research fellow at the NBER. She also directs the public policy PhD program at the Schar School and is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Previously she was a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, an associate professor at Occidental College, and a senior economist at the Council of Economic Advisers. She received her PhD in economics from Stanford University and her BA from the College of William and Mary.

Slavov's research focuses primarily on public finance and the economics of aging. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on Social Security, retirement, retiree health insurance, and health expenditures among older people. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Health Economics, the Journal of Public Economics, and the Journal of Public Economic Theory. In addition, she has published many op-eds and blog posts in outlets such as the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Real Clear Markets.

Slavov teaches a variety of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including public finance, economic policy analysis, economics of aging, and research design for public policy.


1. See, for example, B. Cushing-Daniels and C. E. Steuerle, "Retirement and Social Security: A Time Series Approach," Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Working Paper No. 2009-1, January 2009.   Go to ⤴︎
2. G. S. Goda, J. B. Shoven, and S. N. Slavov, "Removing the Disincentives in Social Security for Long Careers," NBER Working Paper 13110, May 2007, and in J. R. Brown, J. B. Liebman, and D. A. Wise, eds., Social Security Policy in a Changing Environment, Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, June 2009, pp. 21–38.   Go to ⤴︎
3. The jagged profile is caused by the bend points in the benefit formula.   Go to ⤴︎
4. G. S. Goda, J. B. Shoven, and S. N. Slavov, "Work Incentives in the Social Security Disability Benefit Formula," NBER Working Paper 21708, November 2015, and forthcoming in the Journal of Pension Economics and Finance. Go to ⤴︎
5. G. S. Goda, J. B. Shoven, and S. N. Slavov, "A Tax on Work for the Elderly: Medicare as Secondary Payer," NBER Working Paper 13383, September 2007.   Go to ⤴︎
6. A summary of these findings, as well as the findings for Social Security, was published by G. S. Goda, J. B. Shoven, and S. N. Slavov, "Implicit Taxes on Work from Social Security and Medicare," in J. Brown, ed., Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 25, Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, September 2011, pp. 69-88.   Go to ⤴︎
7. S. Nyce, S. Schieber, J. B. Shoven, S. N. Slavov, and D. A. Wise, "Does Retiree Health Insurance Encourage Early Retirement?" NBER Working Paper 17703, December 2011, and Journal of Public Economics, 104, 2013, pp. 40–51.   Go to ⤴︎
8. J. B. Shoven and S. N. Slavov, "The Role of Retiree Health Insurance in the Early Retirement of Public Sector Employees," NBER Working Paper 19563, October 2013, and "Retiree Health Insurance for Public School Employees: Does It Affect Retirement?" Journal of Health Economics (Special section: Health Insurance and the American Public Sector Labor Market), 38, 2014, pp. 99–108.   Go to ⤴︎
9. Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust, "Employer Health Benefits 2016 Annual Survey,"   Go to ⤴︎
10. J. B. Shoven and S. N. Slavov, "The Decision to Delay Social Security Benefits: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Paper 17866, February 2012; and J. B. Shoven and S. N. Slavov, "When Does It Pay to Delay Social Security? The Impact of Mortality, Interest Rates, and Program Rules," NBER Working Paper 18210, July 2012, combined and published as "Does It Pay to Delay Social Security?" in Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, 13(2), 2014, pp. 121–44.   Go to ⤴︎
11. J. B. Shoven and S. N. Slavov, "Recent Changes in the Gains from Delaying Social Security," NBER Working Paper 19370, August 2013, and Journal of Financial Planning, 27(3), 2014, pp. 32–41.   Go to ⤴︎
12. G. S. Goda, S. Ramnath, J. B. Shoven, and S. N. Slavov, "The Financial Feasibility of Delaying Social Security: Evidence from Administrative Tax Data," NBER Working Paper 21544, September 2015, and forthcoming in Journal of Pension Economics and Finance.   Go to ⤴︎
13. J. B. Shoven, S. N. Slavov, and D. A. Wise, "Social Security Claiming Decisions: Survey Evidence," NBER Working Paper 23729, August 2017.   Go to ⤴︎
14. G. Bronshtein, J. Scott, J. B. Shoven, and S. N. Slavov, "Leaving Big Money on the Table: Arbitrage Opportunities in Delaying Social Security," NBER Working Paper 22853, November 2016.   Go to ⤴︎
15. G. Bronshtein, J. Scott, J. B. Shoven, and S. N. Slavov, "The Power of Working Longer," NBER Working Paper 24226, January 2018. Go to ⤴︎

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