Skip to main content

Supplemental security income, labor supply, and migration

Abstract

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program in the USA creates incentives for potential aged recipients to reduce labor supply prior to becoming eligible, and past research finds evidence of such behavior for older men. There may be a migration response to across-state variation in SSI benefits, which is of interest in its own right and can bias estimates of the effects of SSI benefits on labor supply. We fail to find evidence that older individuals migrate in response to SSI benefits, or that the labor supply disincentive effects of SSI are spurious and instead reflect migration behavior.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Bertrand M, Duflo E, Mullainathan S (2004) How much should we trust differences-in-differences estimates? Q J Econ 119(1):249–275

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Blank RM (1988) The effect of welfare and wage levels on the location decisions of female-headed households. J Urban Econ 24(2):186–211

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Blank RM (2002) Evaluating welfare reform in the United States. J Econ Lit 40(4):1105–1166

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Brueckner JK (2000) Welfare reform and the race to the bottom: theory and evidence. South Econ J 66(3):505–525

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Enchautegui ME (1997) Welfare payments and other economic determinants of female migration. J Labor Econ 15(3):529–554

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Figlio DN, Kolpin VW, Reid WE (1999) Do states play welfare games? J Urban Econ 46(3):437–454

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gelbach JB (2004) Migration, the life cycle, and state benefits: how low is the bottom? J Polit Econ 112(5):1091–1130

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Korenman S, Neumark D (1991) Does marriage really make men more productive? J Hum Resour 26(2):282–307

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Levine PB, Zimmerman DJ (1999) An empirical analysis of the welfare magnet debate. J Popul Econ 12(3):391–409

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Meyer B (2000) Do the poor move to receive higher welfare benefits? Unpublished paper, Northwestern University

  • Moffitt R (1992) Incentive effects of the U.S. welfare system: a review. J Econ Lit 30(1):1–61

    Google Scholar 

  • Neumark D, Powers E (1998) The effect of means-tested income support for the elderly on pre-retirement saving: evidence from the SSI program in the U.S. J Public Econ 68(2):181–206

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Neumark D, Powers E (2000) Welfare for the elderly: the effects of SSI on pre-retirement labor supply. J Public Econ 78(1/2):51–80

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Neumark D, Powers ET (2003/2004) The effect of the SSI program on labor supply: improved evidence from social security administrative files. Social Secur Bull 65(3):45–60

    Google Scholar 

  • Neumark David, Powers ET (2005) The effects of changes in state SSI supplements on pre-retirement labor supply. Public Finance Rev 33(1):3–35

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Powers ET, Neumark D (2003) The interaction of public retirement programs in the U.S. Am Econ Rev 93(2):261–265

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Powers ET, Neumark D (2005) The supplemental security income program and incentives to claim social security retirement early. Natl Tax J 58(1):1–26

    Google Scholar 

  • US Committee on Ways and Means, US House of Representatives (2000) The 2000 green book. US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC

  • US Department of Commerce (1980) Census of population and housing, 1980 (United States). US Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC (public use microdata samples)

  • US Social Security Administration (1994) State assistance programs for SSI recipients. SSA Publication No. 17-002. US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC

  • US Social Security Administration (2000) State assistance programs for SSI recipients. US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC

    Google Scholar 

  • US Social Security Administration (2001) Social security bulletin annual statistical supplement. US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC

    Google Scholar 

  • US Social Security Administration (2002) Understanding supplemental security income. US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by National Institute on Aging grant 1-R01-AG17619-01A2. We thank Stephen Ciccarella and Aaron Sparrow for outstanding research assistance, and two anonymous referees for helpful comments.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to David Neumark.

Additional information

Responsible editor: Klaus F. Zimmermann

The author Neumark is also a Senior Fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a Research Fellow at Institute for the Study of Labor. The views expressed are not those of the Public Policy Institute of California.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Neumark, D., Powers, E.T. Supplemental security income, labor supply, and migration. J Popul Econ 19, 447–479 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00148-006-0074-y

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00148-006-0074-y

Keywords

  • Supplemental Security Income
  • Migration
  • Labor supply

JEL Classification

  • H72
  • I68
  • J38