Date of Award

Winter 1-6-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Partha Deb

Second Advisor

Kenneth McLaughlin

Academic Program Adviser

Karna Basu


Nearly four decades ago, Congress passed the Social Security Amendments of 1983. The changes were significant, and they pressured people to delay retirement. In this thesis, I use individual-level data from the Annual and Social Economic Supplement of the Current Population Survey and the Health Retirement Study to analyze the effects of the amendments. The amendments affect individuals at the same age, but across different years. Year of birth determines treatment by the amendments. I control for year of birth and age effects in a difference-in-difference model and interact treatment with age to identify the effects of the amendments on employment status, alcohol consumption, and depression. I find ambiguous evidence of the effects of the amendments on employment status, no evidence of an effect of the amendments on alcohol consumption, and questionable evidence of an effect on depression.



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