Extending the Working Lives of Older Workers

The Impact of Social Security Policies and Labor Market

by Xiaoyan Li

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This dissertation addresses several issues related to public policies that encourage the extension of working lives of the elderly in the United States. It consists of three chapters. The first chapter and the second chapter of the dissertation evaluate the impacts of the increase in the Social Security Full Retirement Age (FRA) from age 65 (for those born before 1937) to age 66 (for those born between 1943 and 1954). The second chapter estimates that the labor force participation rate of men aged 62-65 increased by 3.5-4.5 percentage points in response to a one-year increase in the FRA. The third chapter of the dissertation answers the question, “To what extent can the elderly readily find suitable jobs if they want or need to work?”

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Increased Applications for Disability Benefits: An Effect of Increasing the Full Retirement Age

  • Chapter Two

    The Effect of the Full Retirement Age Increase on the Labor Supply of Older Men

  • Chapter Three

    Job Search Outcomes of Older Workers in the United States

Research conducted by

This document was submitted as a dissertation in June 2010 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of Nicole Maestas (Chair), Pierre-Carl Michaud, and Michael Hurd.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Dissertation series. Pardee RAND dissertations are produced by graduate fellows of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's leading producer of Ph.D.'s in policy analysis. The dissertations are supervised, reviewed, and approved by a Pardee RAND faculty committee overseeing each dissertation.

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