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Adjusting the Payroll Tax to Promote Longer Careers
John P. Laitner and Daniel Silverman
WP 2017-363

This paper analyzes a prospective Social Security reform that a number of authors have suggested, namely a payroll tax cut targeted on households near retirement. Our approach uses simulations of a life-cycle model, which we estimate from panel data. The simulations study effects on the labor force participation of older households. This paper specifically attempts to improve estimates of the model by incorporating newly available data, using both retirement and wealth accumulation data, and employing a formulation that avoids local optima to isolate only global maxima. Despite the changes, our results are generally consistent with earlier work, though they point to slightly more limited policy benefits.

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