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Disability Risk, Disability Insurance and Life Cycle Behavior

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  • Hamish Low
  • Luigi Pistaferri

Abstract

This paper provides a life-cycle framework for weighing up the insurance value of disability benefits against the incentive cost. Within this framework, we estimate the life-cycle risks that individuals face in the US, as well as the parameters governing the disability insurance program, using indirect inference and longitudinal data on consumption, disability status, disability insurance receipt, and wages. We use our estimates to characterize the economic effects of disability programs and to consider how policy reforms would affect behaviour and standard measures of household welfare. Because of high levels of false rejections associated with the screening problem, average household welfare increases as the program becomes less strict, despite the worsening incentives that this implies. Incentives for false applications are reduced by reducing generosity and increasing reassessments and these policies also increase average household welfare, despite the worse insurance implied.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15962.

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Date of creation: May 2010
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15962

Note: EFG LS PE
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  1. Giovanni Gallipoli & Laura Turner, 2009. "Household Responses to Individual Shocks: Disability and Labor Supply," Working Papers 2009.97, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  2. Low, Hamish & Meghir, Costas & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2007. "Wage Risk and Employment Risk Over the Life Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 6187, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Orazio P. Attanasio & Guglielmo Weber, 1994. "Is Consumption Growth Consistent with Intertemporal Optimization? Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey," NBER Working Papers 4795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Amy Finkelstein & Erzo F. P. Luttmer & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2013. "What Good Is Wealth Without Health? The Effect Of Health On The Marginal Utility Of Consumption," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11, pages 221-258, 01.
  5. Sheshinski, E. & Diamond, P., 1992. "Economic Aspects of Optimal Disability Benefits," Working papers 92-5, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John B. Jones, 2010. "Why Do the Elderly Save? The Role of Medical Expenses," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(1), pages 39-75, 02.
  7. 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.
  8. Timothy Waidman & John Bound & Austin Nichols, 2003. "Disability Benefits as Social Insurance: Tradeoffs Between Screening Stringency and Benefit Generosity in Optimal Program Design," Working Papers wp042, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Steven Stern, 1989. "Measuring the Effect of Disability on Labor Force Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(3), pages 361-395.
  12. Bound, John & Cullen, Julie Berry & Nichols, Austin & Schmidt, Lucie, 2004. "The welfare implications of increasing disability insurance benefit generosity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2487-2514, December.
  13. Oliver Denk & Jean-Baptiste Michau, 2013. "Optimal Social Security with Imperfect Tagging," Working Papers hal-00796521, HAL.
  14. Kreider, Brent, 1999. "Latent Work Disability and Reporting Bias," Staff General Research Papers 5185, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  15. Hugo Benitez-Silva & Moshe Buchinsky & Hiu-Man Chan & John Rust & Sofia Sheivasser, 1997. "An Empirical Analysis of the Social Security Disability Application, Appeal, and Award Process," Public Economics 9712001, EconWPA, revised 16 Feb 1998.
  16. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2005. "Designing Optimal Disability Insurance: A Case for Asset Testing," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000450, UCLA Department of Economics.
  17. 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.
  18. Laura Turner & Giovanni Gallipoli, 2010. "Household Responses to Individual Shocks: Disability, Labour Supply," 2010 Meeting Papers 110, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  19. Hugo Benitez-Silva & Moshe Buchinsky & John Rust, 2005. "How Large are the Classification Errors in the Social Security Disability Award Process?," Department of Economics Working Papers 05-02, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
  20. 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.
  21. Kreider, Brent & Pepper, John V., 2003. "Disability and Employment: Reevaluating the Evidence in Light of Reporting Errors," Staff General Research Papers 10229, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  22. Bruce D. Meyer & Wallace K.C. Mok, 2013. "Disability, Earnings, Income and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 18869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. 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.
  24. John Bound, 1989. "The Health and Earnings of Rejected Disability Insurance Applicants," NBER Working Papers 2816, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Hamish Low & Costas Meghir & Luigi Pistaferri, 2006. "Wage risk and employment risk over the life cycle," IFS Working Papers W06/27, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Bruce D. Meyer & Wallace K. C. Mok, 2006. "Disability, Earnings, Income and Consumption," Working Papers 0610, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  3. Pilar García-Gómez & Hans-Martin Gaudecker & Maarten Lindeboom, 2011. "Health, disability and work: patterns for the working age population," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 146-165, April.
  4. Bick, Alexander & Choi, Sekyu, 2013. "Revisiting the effect of household size on consumption over the life-cycle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 2998-3011.
  5. García-Gómez, Pilar, 2011. "Institutions, health shocks and labour market outcomes across Europe," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 200-213, January.
  6. Elena Capatina, 2012. "Life Cycle Effects of Health Risk," Working Papers 201216, ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR), Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales.
  7. Buetler, Monika & Lechner, Michael & Thiemann, Petra & Deuchert, Eva & Staubli, Stefan, 2014. "Financial work incentives for disability benefit recipients: Lessons from a randomized field experiment," Economics Working Paper Series 1406, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  8. Eric French & Jae Song, 2012. "The effect of Disability Insurance receipt on labor supply: a dynamic analysis," Working Paper Series WP-2012-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

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