Policy Note | Challenging the widespread assumption that people claim their retirement benefits only when they retire, more than one-fifth of older workers in the United States start claiming Social Security benefits as soon as they are eligible, even while working for pay. Low-income older workers are more than three times as likely as high-income workers to claim early, indicating a reliance on Social Security payments to supplement low wages. Those who claim before the full retirement age...
Policy Note | Unpaid care work — the vast majority of such work in the United States — is primarily shouldered by economically vulnerable people. The costs associated with unpaid care work compound existing economic insecurity, leading to higher rates of poverty in old age. It is essential to support informal caregivers by recognizing caregiving as work and expanding their access to social safety net programs and providing paid family care leave.
Policy Note | Up to 40 percent of middle-income workers are at risk of downward mobility into poverty or near-poverty in retirement because of an inefficient retirement system that disproportionately benefits those with high incomes. Universal retirement accounts and providing workers with more equitable and better targeted tax incentives are among the best methods to supplement Social Security and prevent downward mobility in retirement.
Brief— SCEPA's research finds nearly 1.5 million low-income older workers would benefit from an expansion of the popular Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program. The report—released by our Retirement Equity Lab (ReLab)—finds without expanding the EITC, the program actually lowers wages among non-educated workers, especially those over 55.
Working Paper—A group of professors, graduate students, and fellows at The New School for Social Research's Department of Economics assess economic research and teaching in the United States and identify three major barriers to the successful adoption of alternative economic theories in academia and the public discourse.
Working Paper—The popular EITC program is credited with encouraging employment and reducing poverty. But a SCEPA working paper suggests it may also reduce wages for low-education workers, including older workers who do not receive EITC benefits at the same rate as younger workers.
Brief— Working longer is often proposed as the solution to the retirement crisis caused by older workers’ lack of retirement assets, but new research from SCEPA's ReLab shows this assumption doesn't match older workers' real experiences in the labor market.
In a forthcoming book about cities and inequality, SCEPA Senior Fellow Rick McGahey examines how economists think about cities, what they typically leave out, and what this tells us about the future for urban hubs such as New York City.