David Stoesz

Publication Date



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.

Document Type

Working Paper


Financial Inclusion


Asset Building

Original Citation

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.


Costs of Upward Social Mobility


Social Security, African American, asset effects, assets, cost, economic empowerment, economic strategies, federal policy, Hispanic, history, inclusion, inclusive policy, inequality, minority, policy, policy design, poor, poverty, race, racial discrimination, racial discrimination, security, social inclusion, social insurance, social policy, Southern, state policy, United States, welfare, welfare recipients, welfare reform, well-being