Asset Building Financial Inclusion Working Paper

The Excluded: An Estimate of the Consequences of Denying Social Security to Agricultural and Domestic Workers

The Social Security Act of 1935 explicitly denied Social Security coverage to several categories of workers, including those employed in domestic and agricultural positions. This exclusion disproportionately affected minorities of color, particularly those living in Southern states. This paper elaborates the context of that decision and presents an estimate of the decision’s cost in denied benefits. It then examines the far-reaching implications of the exclusion, demonstrating that the decision has been replicated repeatedly in U.S. social policy.

Project: Costs of Upward Social Mobility


Stoesz, D. (2016). The excluded: An estimate of the consequences of denying Social Security to agricultural and domestic workers (CSD Working Paper No. 16-17). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.