The effect of heavy drinking on social security old-age and survivors insurance contributions and benefits.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

This article estimates the effects of heavy alcohol consumption on Social Security Old-Age and Survivor Insurance (OASI) contributions and benefits. The analysis accounts for differential earnings and mortality experiences of individuals with different alcohol consumption patterns and controls for other characteristics, including smoking. Relative to moderate drinkers, heavy drinkers receive fewer OASI benefits relative to their contributions. Ironically, for each cohort of 25-year-olds, eliminating heavy drinking costs the program an additional $3 billion over the cohort's lifetime. Public health campaigns are designed to improve individual health-relevant behaviors and, in the long run, increase longevity. Therefore, if programs for the elderly are structured as longevity-independent defined benefit programs, their success will reward healthier behaviors but increase these programs' outlays and worsen their financial condition.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ostermann, J; Sloan, FA

Published Date

  • January 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 82 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 507 - 546

PubMed ID

  • 15330975

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2690221

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1468-0009

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0887-378X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.0887-378x.2004.00320.x


  • eng