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Blau, David M. (1997). Social Security and the Labor Supply of Older Married Couples. Labour Economics, 4(4), 373-418.


This paper provides estimates of the impact of social security benefits on the labor force behavior of older married couples in the United States, with the ‘spouse benefit’ provision receiving particular attention. The empirical results using data from the Retirement History Survey show that the spouse benefit provision has a moderately small negative impact on labor force participation by older married women and a small positive impact on the labor force participation of older married men. The results are used to evaluate the potential labor supply impact of a proposal to eliminate spouse benefits and replace them with earnings sharing.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Labour Economics


Blau, David M.