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Wednesday, September 25, 2019 at 11:40am to 1:10pm
Uris Hall, 494
Jun Hyun Yun - Cornell University
Social Security Eligibility Age, and the Health Outcomes and the Health Behaviors of the Elderly.
Abstract: This research investigates the causal relationships between Social Security eligibility age, especially, the earliest eligibility age (EEA) at 62, and the elderly’s health outcomes and health behaviors. Given that the U.S. population is aging, understanding such relationships is important. The main specifications of this research are donut-hole regression discontinuity designs. To allow time for respondents to adjust, this paper creates a donut hole by dropping observations from interviews taken within three months after the EEA, and estimates parametric regressions and local nonparametric regressions (Calonico et al., 2014; Calonico et al., 2017; Cattaneo et al., 2018). Also, to alleviate short-run anticipation impacts (Hausman and Rapson, 2018), this research makes a larger donut hole by dropping observations from interviews taken within a three-month period before and after the EEA, and conducts similar estimations. The results are as follows. First, at EEA, the probability of receiving Social Security benefits increases by over 30 percentage points. Second, tuning into EEA has negligible impacts on physical health. Third, such turn of age leads to decreases in the probability of smoking and the number of cigarettes smoked per day. Fourth, evidence suggests males drink more often after EEA. These findings are quite robust. Fifth, EEA might have some negative effects on the mental health of males. However, this finding is not robust.