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Seminar Series: Net Immigration and Projections for Social Security Programs

Karen Woodrow-Lafield, Research Professor, Maryland Population Research Center, University of Maryland
When Feb 06, 2012
from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM
Where 0124B Cole Student Activities Bldg.
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-6403
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About the Talk

Since 1988, actuarial models for evaluating finances for the Old-Age Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Fund programs have incorporated net other immigration in addition to net legal immigration. With retirements of Baby Boom cohorts, payout levels have been projected to surpass OASDI tax revenues. The financial shape of the OASI Trust Fund worsened with decreased contributions due to joblessness in the economic recession and is projected to be exhausted in 2036, and the DI Trust Fund is expected to remain financially solvent only until 2018 due to recently higher disability incidence. In the long-term, demographic assumptions on mortality, fertility, immigration, and disability are the dominant factors for financial status. This seminar reviews treatment of immigration in the actuarial models and recommendations of previous expert panels in 2003 and 2007. The discussion of evaluating recent net immigration involves reviewing evidence from administrative sources, national surveys, unauthorized population estimates, population estimates and projections, demographic analyses of census coverage, and modeling net immigration.  The presentation includes recommendations on immigration assumptions, the rationale, and the likely impact for program finances.

Karen Woodrow-Lafield, Ph.D.

About the Speaker

Karen Woodrow-Lafield was an appointed expert for the 2011 Technical Panel on Assumptions and Methods from which the Report to the Social Security Advisory Board is forthcoming. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and began her career as an immigration demographer at the U.S. Census Bureau. After she was a senior analyst with the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, she was an Associate Professor at Mississippi State University and was appointed to the Quantification Team of the Mexico-U.S. Binational Migration Study, coauthoring studies on legal and unauthorized migration in the 1990s. Her research includes initiating an NICHD-funded project for multi-cohort modeling of the timing of immigrant naturalization. She is a major contributor of key studies on U.S. immigration relevant for federal statistics and for academic researchers and policymakers, on topics of net unauthorized migration, emigration, legal immigration, Mexican migration, census coverage, and consequences of immigration policies. She has a wide range of interests in population, development, and social inequality, and she has forthcoming chapters on census and survey analyses of migration, immigrant incorporation as citizens, the sociology of official unauthorized statistics, and Hispanic migration.

Visit Dr. Woodrow-Lafield's website


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