Distributional Analysis of Pension and Social Security Reforms

Distributional Analysis of Pension and Social Security Reforms

Alternative Approaches and a Report on an Expert Panel Meeting
September 16, 2008

Abstract

In April 2008, the Urban Institute convened an expert panel of researchers inside and outside of government agencies to discuss how best to perform distributional analyses of proposals to reform Social Security and private pensions. The panel discussed key technical issues, including how to measure the baseline income distribution and characterize current policies, how to address changes that alter the timing of taxes and benefits, and how to measure and report gains and losses from policy interventions. The group revealed diverse viewpoints, but we conclude that current methods used in recent UI research fall within the range of reasonable alternatives.

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