February 5, 2018

CAAR – Demographic Research Article – February 5, 2018

Filed under: Reports and Articles — Tags: , , — admin @ 3:54 pm

The increasing mortality advantage of the married: The role played by education,” by Oystein Kravdal, Emily Grundy, and Katherine Keenan (Vol. 38, Article 20, January 2018, .pdf format, p. 471-512).

August 16, 2017

CAAR – Center for Retirement Research at Boston College Issue Brief – August 16, 2017

Filed under: Reports and Articles — Tags: — admin @ 4:43 pm

Do Women Still Spend Most of Their Lives Married?” by Alicia H. Munnell, Geoffrey T. Sanzenbacher, and Sara Ellen King (IB No. 17-14, August 2017, .pdf format, 6p.).

February 8, 2017

CAAR – Rand Corporation Labor and Population Program Working Paper – February 8, 2017

Filed under: Working Papers — Tags: , , , — admin @ 5:23 pm

Household Retirement Saving: The Location of Savings Between Spouses,” by Katherine Grace Carman and Angela Hung (WR-1166, January 2017, .pdf format, 62p.). Note: Links to the abstract and the full text of the paper available at:

October 17, 2016

CAAR – National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper – October 17, 2016

Filed under: Working Papers — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 5:00 pm

Links to an abstract are available. For full text availability check your organization’s library.

A. “Changes in Marriage and Divorce as Drivers of Employment and Retirement of Older Women,” by Claudia Olivetti and Dana E. Rotz (w22738, October 2016, .pdf format, 48p.).

B. “Estimating the Heterogeneous Welfare Effects of Choice Architecture: An Application to the Medicare Prescription Drug Insurance Market,” by Jonathan D. Ketcham, Nicolai V. Kuminoff, and Christopher A. Powers (w22732, October 2016, .pdf format, 57p.).

June 9, 2016

CAAR – Center for Retirement Research at Boston College Issue Briefs – June 9, 2016

Filed under: Reports and Articles — Tags: , , , — admin @ 4:50 pm

A. “How Work & Marriage Trends Affect Social Security’s Family Benefits,” by Steven A. Sass (Issue Brief No. 16-9, June 2016, .pdf format, 9p.).

B. “Do Households Save More When the Kids Leave Home?” by by Irena Dushi, Alicia H. Munnell, Geoffrey T. Sanzenbacher, Anthony Webb and Anqi Chen (Issue Brief No. 16-8, May 2016, .pdf format, 9p.).

November 6, 2015

CAAR – National Center for Family & Marriage Research [Bowling Green State University] Working Paper – November 6, 2015

Filed under: Working Papers — Tags: , , — admin @ 4:39 pm

Marital Biography, Social Security, and Poverty,” by I-Fen Lin, Susan L. Brown, and Anna M. Hammersmith (WP-2015-001, November 2015, .pdf format, 33p.).


Increasingly, older adults are unmarried, which could mean a larger share is at risk of economic disadvantage. Using data from the 2010 Health and Retirement Study, we chart the diverse range of marital biographies, capturing marital sequences and timing, of adults who are age eligible for Social Security and examine three indicators of economic well-being: Social Security receipt, Social Security benefit levels, and poverty status. Partnereds are disproportionately likely to receive Social Security and they enjoy relatively high Social Security benefits and very low poverty levels. Among singles, economic well-being varies by marital biography and gender. Gray divorced and never-married women face considerable economic insecurity. Their Social Security benefits are relatively low and their poverty rates are quite high (over 25%), indicating Social Security alone is not sufficient to prevent these women from falling into poverty. By comparison, late widoweds are the most advantaged singles.

September 23, 2013

CAAR – National Bureau of Economic Research Working Papers – September 23, 2013

Filed under: Working Papers — Tags: , , — admin @ 4:53 pm

A. “Spousal Health Effects – the Role of Selection,” by James Banks, Elaine Kelly, and James P. Smith (w19438, September 2013, .pdf format, 37p.).


In this paper, we investigate the issue of partner selection in the health of individuals who are at least fifty years old in England and the United States. We find a strong and positive association in family background variables including education of partners and their parents. Adult health behaviors such as smoking, drinking, and exercise are more positively associated in England compared to the United States. Childhood health indicators are also positively associated across partners.

We also investigated pre and post partnership smoking behavior of couples. There exists strong positive assortative mating in smoking in that smokers are much more likely to partner with smokers and non-smokers with non-smokers. This relationship is far stronger in England compared to the United States. In the United States, we find evidence of asymmetric partner influence in smoking in that men’s pre marriage smoking behavior influences his female partner’s post marriage smoking behavior but there does not appear to be a parallel influence of women’s pre-marriage smoking on their male partner’s post-marital smoking. These relationships are much more parallel across genders in England.

B. “Wages, Pensions, and Public-Private Sector Compensation Differentials for Older Workers,” by Philipp Bewerunge and Harvey S. Rosen (w19454, September 2013, .pdf format, 41p.).


We use a sample of full-time workers over 50 years of age from the 2004 and 2006 waves of the Health and Retirement Study to investigate whether workers in federal, state, and local government receive more generous wage and pension compensation than private sector workers, ceteris paribus. With respect to hourly remuneration (wages plus employer contributions to defined contribution plans), federal workers earn a premium of about 28 log points, taking differences in employee characteristics into account. However, there are no statistically discernible differences between state and local workers and their private sector counterparts, ceteris paribus. These findings are about the same whether or not indicators of occupation are included in the model. On the other hand, pension wealth accumulation is greater for employees in all three government sectors than for private sector workers, even after taking worker characteristics into account. As a proportion of the hourly private-sector wage, the hourly equivalent public-private differentials are about 17.2 percent, 13.4 percent, and 12.6 percent for federal, state, and local workers, respectively. We find no evidence that highly-educated individuals are penalized by taking jobs in the public sector, either with respect to wages or pension wealth.

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