Why Retirement, Social Security, and Age Discrimination Policies Need to Consider the Intersectional Experiences of Older Women

18 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2020

See all articles by Ian Burn

Ian Burn

University of Liverpool

Patrick Button

Tulane University, Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Theodore F. Figinski

Government of the United States of America - Department of the Treasury

Joanne Song McLaughlin

University at Buffalo

Date Written: June 2020

Abstract

We provide an overview of research that indicates that older women face unique challenges and opportunities with respect to work, retirement, Social Security, and age discrimination law. We present estimates of poverty by age and sex, showing that poverty increases with age for women due to older women often outliving their spouses and becoming widowed. We discuss research that shows that women benefit more than men from working longer. We then note that older women face intersectional discrimination that can unfortunately be a barrier to older women working longer. We detail how older women often “fall between the cracks” of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and are thus not well protected against this intersectional discrimination. As a final example of how women face different circumstances, we summarize research on how older women were differentially negatively impacted by the elimination of Social Security’s Retirement Earnings.

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Suggested Citation

Burn, Ian and Button, Patrick and Figinski, Ted and McLaughlin, Joanne, Why Retirement, Social Security, and Age Discrimination Policies Need to Consider the Intersectional Experiences of Older Women (June 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w27450, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3637752

Ian Burn (Contact Author)

University of Liverpool ( email )

Chatham Street
Liverpool, L69 7ZA
United Kingdom

Patrick Button

Tulane University, Department of Economics ( email )

New Orleans, LA 70118
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.patrickbutton.com

National Bureau of Economic Research ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
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IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Ted Figinski

Government of the United States of America - Department of the Treasury ( email )

1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20220
United States

Joanne McLaughlin

University at Buffalo ( email )

441 Fronczak Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260
United States

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