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The Effective Target of the Social Security Disability Benefits Reform Act of 1984

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    Abstract

    A substantial portion of the rise in Social Security Disability Insurance rolls since 1984 has been attributed to the Social Security Disability Benefits Reform Act. Using data from the National Health Insurance Survey, I examine whom the act effectively targeted. The analysis shows that new enrollees were demonstrably taller than previous enrollees, suggesting that the act expanded eligibility to individuals in better health and socioeconomic circumstances. However, the estimated effect of increased SSDI eligibility on employment is low, suggesting that the act targeted males who would have otherwise been unemployed.

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    File URL: http://www.maxwell.syr.edu/uploadedFiles/cpr/publications/working_papers2/wp119.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University in its series Center for Policy Research Working Papers with number 119.

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    Length: 43 pages
    Date of creation: Dec 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:max:cprwps:119

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    Keywords: disability insurance; labor supply;

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    1. David Autor & Mark Duggan, 2006. "The Growth in the Social Security Disability Rolls: A Fiscal Crisis Unfolding," NBER Working Papers 12436, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hugo Benitez-Silva & Moshe Buchinsky & Hiu Man Chan & Sofia Cheidvasser & John Rust, 2000. "How Large is the Bias in Self-Reported Disability?," Working Papers 2000-01, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    3. David H. Autor & Mark G. Duggan, 2003. "The Rise In The Disability Rolls And The Decline In Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 157-205, February.
    4. Juhn, Chinhui, 1992. "Decline of Male Labor Market Participation: The Role of Declining Market Opportunities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 79-121, February.
    5. John Bound, 1989. "The Health and Earnings of Rejected Disability Insurance Applicants," NBER Working Papers 2816, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Parsons, Donald O, 1980. "The Decline in Male Labor Force Participation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 117-34, February.
    7. Duggan, Mark & Singleton, Perry & Song, Jae, 2007. "Aching to retire? The rise in the full retirement age and its impact on the social security disability rolls," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1327-1350, August.
    8. Henry S. Farber & Jeffrey R. Kling & Alan Krueger, 1999. "Interpreting Instrumental Variables Estimates of the Returns to Schooling," Working Papers 794, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    9. Chen, Susan & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2008. "The work disincentive effects of the disability insurance program in the 1990s," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 757-784, February.
    10. John Bound, 1991. "Self-Reported Versus Objective Measures of Health in Retirement Models," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(1), pages 106-138.
    11. Chinhui Juhn & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 1991. "Why Has the Natural Rate of Unemployment Increased over Time?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 75-142.
    12. Bound, John & Burkhauser, Richard V., 1999. "Economic analysis of transfer programs targeted on people with disabilities," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 51, pages 3417-3528 Elsevier.
    13. Till von Wachter & Jae Song & Joyce Manchester, 2011. "Trends in Employment and Earnings of Allowed and Rejected Applicants to the Social Security Disability Insurance Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3308-29, December.
    14. Borsch-Supan, Axel, 2000. "Incentive effects of social security on labor force participation: evidence in Germany and across Europe," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 25-49, October.
    15. Jonathan Gruber, 1996. "Disability Insurance Benefits and Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 5866, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Jonathan S. Leonard, 1979. "The Social Security Disability Program and Labor Force Participation," NBER Working Papers 0392, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. 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.
    18. 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.
    19. John Bound & Richard Burkhauser & Austin Nichols, 2001. "Tracking the Household Income of SSDI and SSI Applicants," Working Papers wp009, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    20. James Heckman, 1997. "Instrumental Variables: A Study of Implicit Behavioral Assumptions Used in Making Program Evaluations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 441-462.
    21. Julie L. Hotchkiss, 2004. "A Closer Look at the Employment Impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
    22. Michele Campolieti, 2004. "Disability Insurance Benefits and Labor Supply: Some Additional Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(4), pages 863-890, October.
    23. Bound, John & Waidmann, Timothy, 1992. "Disability Transfers, Self-Reported Health, and the Labor Force Attachment of Older Men: Evidence from the Historical Record," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1393-419, November.
    24. Perry Singleton, 2009. "The Effect of Disability Insurance on Health Investment: Evidence from the Veterans Benefits Administration’s Disability Compensation Program," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(4).
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