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The Changing Economic Status of U.S. Disabled Men: Trends and Their Determinants, 1982–1991

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  • R. Haveman
  • K. Holden
  • B. Wolfe
  • P. Smith
  • K. Wilson

Abstract

In this paper, we track the level of economic well-being of the population of men who began receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits in 1980–81 from the time just after they became beneficiaries (in 1982) to 1991, nearly a decade later. We present measures of the economic well-being of disabled individuals and their nondisabled peers as indicators of the relative economic position of these two groups. These measures also provide an intertemporal comparison of well-being and hardship as disabled persons and their nondisabled peers age and retire. We first show several economic well-being indicators for this group of new male recipients of disability benefits in 1982 and 1991. Then, we compare their economic position to that of a matched group of nondisabled males with sufficient work histories to have been disability-insured, that is, eligible for SSDI benefits had they been unable to engage in substantial gainful employment. Because labor market changes over this decade have led to a relative deterioration in the position of younger and less-educated workers, we compare men with disabilities to those without disabilities and distinguish different age and educational levels within the groups. In studying these comparative trends in well-being, we focus on the prevalence of poverty and its correlates. We conclude by assessing the antipoverty effectiveness of Social Security income support for both younger and older men who became SSDI recipients in 1980–81.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty in its series Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers with number 1190-99.

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Handle: RePEc:wop:wispod:1190-99

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  1. Jonathan S. Leonard, 1985. "Labor Supply Incentives and Disincentives for the Disabled," NBER Working Papers 1744, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Haveman, Robert & de Jong, Philip & Wolfe, Barbara, 1991. "Disability Transfers and the Work Decision of Older Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 939-49, August.
  3. Bound, John, 1989. "The Health and Earnings of Rejected Disability Insurance Applicants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 482-503, June.
  4. 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.
  5. Joseph F. Quinn & Richard V. Burkhauser & Daniel A. Myers, 1990. "Passing the Torch: The Influence of Economic Incentives on Work and Retirement," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number pt.
  6. Haveman, Robert & Wolfe, Barbara & Warlick, Jennifer, 1988. "Labor market behavior of older men : Estimates from a Trichotomous choice model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 153-175, July.
  7. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-81, September.
  8. Haveman, Robert H. & Wolfe, Barbara L., 1984. "Disability transfers and early retirement: a casual relationship?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 47-66, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2010. "The "Out of Africa" Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development," Working Papers 2010-7, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Friedrich, T., 2009. "Wise exploitation – a game with a higher productivity than cooperation – transforms biological productivity into economic productivity," MPRA Paper 22862, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Robert Haveman & Karen Holden & Kathryn Wilson & Barbara Wolfe, 2003. "Social security, age of retirement, and economic well-being: Intertemporal and demographic patterns among retired-worker beneficiaries," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 369-394, May.

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