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Why Have Uk Disability Benefit Rolls Grown So Much?

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  • Duncan McVicar

Abstract

Over the last 30 years many countries – including the UK – have seen a dramatic rise in the share of the working age population receiving sickness and disability benefits (hereafter disability benefits). This is despite health levels that are generally thought to be slowly improving. This paper describes the time path of UK disability benefit rolls and explores the existing UK literature together with literature from the USA in search of potential explanations for it. Since the early 1990s, despite a number of detailed descriptive studies, surprisingly little attention has been paid to quantifying the importance of the different factors believed to be driving the UK benefit roll growth. This is all the more surprising given the continued growth and the level of policy attention recently and currently devoted to disability benefits in the UK.

Suggested Citation

  • Duncan McVicar, 2008. "Why Have Uk Disability Benefit Rolls Grown So Much?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 114-139, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:22:y:2008:i:1:p:114-139
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6419.2007.00522.x
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    Cited by:

    1. M. Agovino & A. Rapposelli, 2017. "Speculation on a Flexicurity Index for Disabled People: The Italian Case," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 389-414, January.
    2. Octave De Brouwer & Elisabeth Leduc & Ilan Tojerow, "undated". "The Unexpected Consequences of Job Search Monitoring: Disability Instead of Employment ?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/340666, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. Pudney, Stephen, 2009. "Participation in disability benefit programmes: a partial identification analysis of the British Attendance Allowance system," ISER Working Paper Series 2009-19, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    4. Hugo Benítez-Silva & Richard Disney & Sergi Jiménez-Martín, 2010. "Disability, capacity for work and the business cycle: an international perspective [Has the boom in incapacity benefit claimant numbers passed its peak?]," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 25(63), pages 483-536.
    5. Ruth Hancock & Marcello Morciano & Stephen Pudney & Francesca Zantomio, 2015. "Do household surveys give a coherent view of disability benefit targeting?: a multisurvey latent variable analysis for the older population in Great Britain," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 178(4), pages 815-836, October.
    6. Zouheir El-Sahli & Richard Upward, 2017. "Off the Waterfront: The Long-Run Impact of Technological Change on Dockworkers," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 55(2), pages 225-273, June.
    7. Colin Lindsay & Donald Houston, 2011. "Fit for Purpose? Welfare Reform and Challenges for Health and Labour Market Policy in the UK," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 43(3), pages 703-721, March.
    8. Richard Burkhauser & Mary Daly & Duncan McVicar & Roger Wilkins, 2014. "Disability benefit growth and disability reform in the US: lessons from other OECD nations," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-30, December.
    9. Roberts, Jennifer & Taylor, Karl, 2019. "New Evidence on Disability Benefit Claims in the UK: The Role of Health and the Local Labour Market," IZA Discussion Papers 12825, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Jennifer Roberts & Karl Taylor, 2022. "New Evidence on Disability Benefit Claims in Britain: The Role of Health and the Local Labour Market," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 89(353), pages 131-160, January.
    11. Danacica, Daniela Emanuela & Cirnu, Doru, 2014. "Unemployment Duration and Exit States of Disabled People in Romania," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(1), pages 35-52, March.
    12. Pudney, Stephen, 2010. "Disability benefits for older people: how does the UK Attendance Allowance system really work?," ISER Working Paper Series 2010-02, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    13. Zantomio, Francesca, 2013. "Older people's participation in extra-cost disability benefits," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 320-330.
    14. Massimiliano Agovino & Giuliana Parodi, 2015. "Human Development and the Determinants of the Incidence of Civilian Disability Pensions in Italy: A Spatial Panel Perspective," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 122(2), pages 553-576, June.
    15. Maja Prudzienica, 2012. "Disabled Persons on Labour Market - Analysis of Solutions in Poland and Selected EU Countries," MIC 2012: Managing Transformation with Creativity; Proceedings of the 13th International Conference, Budapest, 22–24 November 2012 [Selected Papers],, University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper.
    16. Ossi Korkeamäki & Tomi Kyyrä, 2012. "Institutional rules, labour demand and retirement through disability programme participation," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(2), pages 439-468, January.
    17. Robert P. Hagemann, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: Part 6. What Are the Best Policy Instruments for Fiscal Consolidation?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 937, OECD Publishing.
    18. Jones, Melanie K. & McVicar, Duncan, 2017. "The Dynamics of Disability and Benefit Receipt in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 11186, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Enrica Croda & Jonathan Skinner & Laura Yasaitis, 2018. "The Health of Disability Insurance Enrollees: An International Comparison," Working Papers 2018:28, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    20. Nagymate, Nora, 2013. "Relationship Between The Qualification And Labour Market Situation Of Disabled Workers In Hungary," APSTRACT: Applied Studies in Agribusiness and Commerce, AGRIMBA, vol. 6(5), pages 1-3, April.

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