with Manasi Deshpande, Itzik Fadlon.
Review of Economics and Statistics (Forthcoming 2024)
We study how increases in the U.S. Social Security full retirement age (FRA) affect benefit claiming behavior and retirement (workforce exit) behavior, and in particular how these two behaviors differ in their responses to FRA increases. Using a long panel of Social Security administrative data, we implement complementary research designs of a traditional cohort analysis and a regression-discontinuity design. We find that while claiming ages strongly and immediately shift in response to increases in the FRA, retirement ages exhibit persistent “stickiness” at the old FRA of 65. We use several strategies to explore the likely mechanisms behind the stickiness in retirement, and we find suggestive evidence that employers play a role in workers’ responses to the FRA.
with Adam Leive, Elena Prager, Kelsey Pukelis, and Mary Zaki.
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, Vol. 15 No. 1 (2023)
Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) offer heavily subsidized or free care to over 20 million low-income patients each year, yet their causal impacts are not well understood. This paper estimates the impacts of nearby FQHC entry on household insurance coverage, self-reported health, and nearby providers by linking geocoded data on new FQHCs to household and hospital survey data. The results suggest that FQHCs increase Medicaid take-up, although increased Medicaid coverage is partially counteracted by reduced private coverage. I do not find evidence that FQHCs impact self-reported health. Finally, FQHCs appear to divert low-income patients away from nearby hospitals, moderately reducing the number of Medicaid inpatient discharges.
Many administrative and legal processes involve the option to appeal an initial decision. This provides an additional opportunity to demonstrate eligibility for a program, innocence in a criminal case, or fitness for residency in a country. However, researchers and policymakers know very little about the effects of adding or subtracting stages of appeal. On one hand, fewer stages of appeal means fewer opportunities to demonstrate eligibility, which may decrease overall allowances, administrative costs, and processing times. On the other hand, if applicants and adjudicators anticipate future appeals and infer information from past appeals, eliminating an appeals stage may induce initial adjudicators to increase allowances or encourage applicants to pursue higher levels of appeal. After illustrating the key theoretical parameters dictating these impacts, I study a 1999 reform to the Social Security disability adjudication process in which an intermediate appeals stage was eliminated for ten states. In line with the latter model, I find evidence that eliminating this appeals stage increased allowances onto the program and saved little in terms of processing time and administrative costs due to these dynamic responses. In practice, appeals are not simply extra chances to demonstrate eligibility: they are tools for switching between equilibria whose effects depend on a set of key behavioral parameters.
Atlantic Economic Journal, Vol 31 Issue 2 (2013)
Between 2002 and 2006, the Federal Reserve set interest rates significantly below the rates suggested by well-known monetary policy rules. There is a growing body of research suggesting that this helped fuel an excess of liquidity in the U.S. that contributed to the 2008 worldwide financial crash. It is less well known that a number of other central banks also lowered interest rates during this period. An important question, then, is what role the Federal Reserve played in influencing other central banks to alter their own monetary policies, which could have magnified the Fed’s actions in creating global liquidity. This paper addresses the issue by showing how spillovers in central bank behavior occur in theoretical rational expectations models. It then establishes empirically how U.S. monetary policy actions affect the actions of other major central banks, particularly in terms of interest rates and currency interventions. The models and data suggest that the U.S. lowering its policy rate, either in general or in reference to a monetary policy rule, influences other central banks to lower their own policy rates and intervene in currency markets, even when controlling for worldwide macroeconomic trends. It thus appears that U.S. actions were a factor in the worldwide lowering of interest rates and the increase in currency reserves in the early 2000s that may have contributed to the subsequent global liquidity boom.