The Economic Consequences of a Husband's Death: Evidence from the HRS and AHEAD

TitleThe Economic Consequences of a Husband's Death: Evidence from the HRS and AHEAD
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsSevak, P, Weir, DR, Willis, RJ
JournalSocial Security Bulletin
Volume65
Issue3
Pagination31-44
Call Numberpubs_2004_Sevak_SSB.pdf
KeywordsNet Worth and Assets
Abstract

This article examines the economic status of older widowed women in the 1990s using the Health and Retirement Study. Widowhood remains an important risk factor for transition into poverty, although somewhat less so than 20 years ago. Despite increased labor force participation rates among women and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) reforms, widows live with lower household earnings, pension income, and wealth than do married women. Women widowed at younger ages are at greatest risk for economic hardship after widowhood and their situation declines with the duration of widowhood. We also find that women in households that are least prepared financially for widowhood are at greatest risk of husband's death, because of the strong relationship between mortality and wealth.

Endnote Keywords

Widowhood/Economic Status

Endnote ID

13462

Citation Key6961