Research & Analysis by Barry Bosworth

Lifetime Earnings Patterns, the Distribution of Future Social Security Benefits, and the Impact of Pension Reform
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 63, No. 4 (released September 2001)
by Barry Bosworth, Gary Burtless, and C. Eugene Steuerle

Policymakers have long been interested in understanding the adequacy and distribution of Social Security benefits and in predicting the effects of reform on representative workers. This article describes two new methods for estimating the career profile of earnings for representative workers. It then compares the results of those new methods with earnings profiles assumed in traditional distributional analysis of Social Security and shows the implications of the new results for evaluating Social Security reform.