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Disability benefit growth and disability reform in the U.S.: lessons from other OECD nations

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  • Burkhauser, Richard V.

    ()
    (Cornell University)

  • Daly, Mary C.

    ()
    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

  • McVicar, Duncan

    ()
    (Queen’s University-Belfast)

  • Wilkins, Roger

    ()
    (University of Melbourne)

Abstract

Unsustainable growth in program costs and beneficiaries, together with a growing recognition that even people with severe impairments can work, led to fundamental disability policy reforms in the Netherlands, Sweden, and Great Britain. In Australia, rapid growth in disability recipiency led to more modest reforms. Here we describe the factors driving unsustainable DI program growth in the U.S., show their similarity to the factors that led to unsustainable growth in these other four OECD countries, and discuss the reforms each country implemented to regain control over their cash transfer disability program. Although each country took a unique path to making and implementing fundamental reforms, shared lessons emerge from their experiences.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2013-40.

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Length: 61 pages
Date of creation: 13 Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2013-40

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  1. Nicole Maestas & Kathleen J. Mullen & Alexander Strand, 2010. "Does Disability Insurance Receipt Discourage Work? Using Examiner Assignment to Estimate Causal Effects of SSDI Receipt," Working Papers 853, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  2. Jönsson, Lisa & Palme, Mårten & Svensson, Ingemar, 2010. "Disability Insurance, Population Health and Employment in Sweden," Research Papers in Economics 2010:25, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  3. Daniela Andrén, 2003. "Sickness-related Absenteeism and Economic Incentives in Sweden: A History of Reforms," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 1(3), pages 54-60, 02.
  4. Duncan McVicar & Roger Wilkins, 2013. "Explaining the Growth in the Number of Recipients of the Disability Support Pension in Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 46(3), pages 345-356, 09.
  5. David H. Autor & Mark G. Duggan, 2006. "The Growth in the Social Security Disability Rolls: A Fiscal Crisis Unfolding," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 71-96, Summer.
  6. Richard V. Burkhauser & Mary C. Daly, 2012. "Social Security Disability Insurance: Time For Fundamental Change," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(2), pages 454-461, 03.
  7. Dan Black & Kermit Daniel & Seth Sanders, 2002. "The Impact of Economic Conditions on Participation in Disability Programs: Evidence from the Coal Boom and Bust," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 27-50, March.
  8. Richard V. Burkhauser & Mary C. Daly & Brian T. Lucking, 2013. "Is Australia One Recession Away from a Disability Blowout? Lessons from Other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Countries," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 46(3), pages 357-368, 09.
  9. Mark Duggan & Scott A. Imberman, 2009. "Why Are the Disability Rolls Skyrocketing? The Contribution of Population Characteristics, Economic Conditions, and Program Generosity," NBER Chapters, in: Health at Older Ages: The Causes and Consequences of Declining Disability among the Elderly, pages 337-379 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jan-Maarten van Sonsbeek & Raymond Gradus, 2011. "Estimating the Effects of Recent Disability Reforms in The Netherlands," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-121/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  11. Christina Beatty & Stephen Fothergill, 2005. "The diversion from 'unemployment' to 'sickness' across British regions and districts," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(7), pages 837-854.
  12. Duncan McVicar, 2008. "Why Have Uk Disability Benefit Rolls Grown So Much?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 114-139, 02.
  13. Marcus E. Rebick, 1994. "Social Security and Older Workers' Labor Market Responsiveness: The United States, Japan, and Sweden," NBER Chapters, in: Social Protection versus Economic Flexibility: Is There a Trade-Off?, pages 189-222 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Michael Anyadike-Danes & Duncan McVicar, 2008. "Has the Boom in Incapacity Benefit Claimant Numbers Passed Its Peak?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 29(4), pages 415-434, December.
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