Welfare for the elderly: The effects of SSI on pre-retirement labor supply

David Neumark, Elizabeth Powers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper studies pre-eligibility-age labor market disincentives created by the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Asset and income limits might induce individuals nearing the eligibility age to work less. We exploit states' supplementation of federal SSI benefits to estimate the effects of SSI on pre-retirement labor supply, using SIPP data. We find some evidence that generous SSI benefits reduce the pre-retirement labor supply (and earnings) of men who are likely to participate in SSI after retirement, as they near the eligibility age, especially men who are eligible for early Social Security benefits, which may be used to offset their reduced labor income.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-80
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Public Economics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Oct 2000


  • H31
  • J14
  • J18
  • Labor supply
  • Retirement
  • SSI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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