Economist Sita Nataraj Slavov specializes in public finance issues dealing with retirement and the economics of aging. Her recent work has focused on whether retiree health insurance encourages early retirement, the impact of widowhood on out-of-pocket medical expenses among the elderly and the optimal time to claim Social Security. Before joining AEI, Slavov taught a variety of economic courses at Occidental College: game theory, public finance, behavioral economics and econometrics. She has also served as a senior economist specializing in public finance issues at the White House's Council of Economic Advisers. Her work at AEI will focus on Social Security and retirement issues.
Should the US tax code treat people as families, as it currently does, or as individuals? This paper considers the costs and benefits of switching to a tax system based on individual, rather than family, income.
Public sector retirement benefits have come under fire in recent years, as state and local governments struggle to deal with large funding shortfalls. A number of recent studies have concluded that public sector workers are overpaid relative to their private sector counterparts. These studies raise a number of questions. Why are public sector workers so highly compensated?
While women live longer than men, elderly women incur higher out-of pocket medical spending than men at each age. In this paper, we examine whether differences in marital status and living arrangements can explain this difference. We find that out-of-pocket medical spending is approximately 24 percent higher when an individual becomes widowed, a large portion of which is spending on nursing homes.
Phase-outs out of government benefits are well-intentioned: they aim to ensure that the rich do not benefit from programs intended for the poor and middle-class. However, they result in a complex, nontransparent tax and transfer system that punishes work and traps many low-income families in poverty. Reform should aim to provide support for needy Americans while preserving work incentives.
This article discusses the role of both average and marginal tax rates throughout the income distribution. Our analysis relies on optimal tax theory, which allows us to study the trade-off between two of the main goals of policymakers: progressivity and economic efficiency.
Acknowledging trends in income inequality is important, but it may be more important to consider trends in other areas of the human condition, such as health. Equality in health is arguably a prerequisite for all other measures of well-being.