How Do Racial Disparities in Lifetime Earnings Shape Social Security and SSI Benefits?

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Richard Johnson, Urban Institute and Tokunbo Oluwole, Gayle L. Reznik, and Christopher R. Tamborini, U.S. Social Security Administration

This project will use pooled data from the Current Population Survey matched to administrative records on earnings, program participation, immigration status, and mortality to examine how earnings differences affect future Social Security benefits. We will document long-range earnings disparities by race, Hispanic origin, nativity, sex, and education simultaneously and show how long-range earnings inequities affect key Social Security policy parameters. Our estimates can help improve SSA and Urban Institute distributional projections of OASDI and SSI proposals, thus bolstering capacity for racial equity scoring.