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Disability benefit generosity and labor force withdrawal

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  • Mullen, Kathleen J.
  • Staubli, Stefan

Abstract

A key component for estimating the optimal size and structure of disability insurance (DI) programs is the elasticity of DI claiming with respect to benefit generosity. Yet, in many countries, including the United States, all workers face identical benefit schedules, which are a function of one's labor market history, making it difficult to separate the effect of the benefit level from the effect of unobserved preferences for work on individuals' claiming decisions. To circumvent this problem, we exploit exogenous variation in DI benefits in Austria arising from several reforms to its DI and old age pension system in the 1990s and 2000s. We use comprehensive administrative social security records data on the universe of Austrian workers to compute benefit levels under six different regimes, allowing us to identify and precisely estimate the elasticity of DI claiming with respect to benefit generosity. We find that, over this time period, a 1% increase in potential DI benefits was associated with a 1.2% increase in DI claiming.

Suggested Citation

  • Mullen, Kathleen J. & Staubli, Stefan, 2016. "Disability benefit generosity and labor force withdrawal," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 49-63.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:143:y:2016:i:c:p:49-63
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2016.08.007
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    Cited by:

    1. Hamish Low & Luigi Pistaferri, 2020. "Disability Insurance: Theoretical Trade‐Offs and Empirical Evidence," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(1), pages 129-164, March.
    2. Joanna Tyrowicz & Krzysztof Makarski & Marcin Bielecki, 2018. "Inequality in an OLG economy with heterogeneous cohorts and pension systems," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 16(4), pages 583-606, December.
    3. Philippe Ruh & Stefan Staubli, 2019. "Financial Incentives and Earnings of Disability Insurance Recipients: Evidence from a Notch Design," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 269-300, May.
    4. Kuhn, Andreas & Staubli, Stefan & Wuellrich, Jean-Philippe & Zweimüller, Josef, 2020. "Fatal attraction? Extended unemployment benefits, labor force exits, and mortality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 191(C).
    5. Manoli, Dayanand S. & Weber, Andrea, 2016. "The Effects of the Early Retirement Age on Retirement Decisions," CEPR Discussion Papers 11491, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Daly, Mary C. & Ziebarth, Nicolas, 2016. "Protecting working-age people with disabilities : experiences of four industrialized nations (Absicherung von Personen mit Erwerbsminderung : Erfahrungen aus vier Industrieländern)," Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 49(4), pages 367-386.
    7. Richard V. Burkhauser & Mary C. Daly & Nicolas R. Ziebarth, 2016. "Protecting working-age people with disabilities: experiences of four industrialized nations [Absicherung von Personen mit Erwerbsminderung: Erfahrungen aus vier Industrieländern]," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 49(4), pages 367-386, December.
    8. Elisabeth Bublitz & Michael Wyrwich, 2018. "Technological change and labor market integration," Jena Economic Research Papers 2018-008, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    9. Bratsberg, Bernt & Raaum, Oddbjørn & Røed, Knut, 2020. "Immigrant Responses to Social Insurance Generosity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    10. Chiara Dal Bianco, 2019. "Labour Supply and Welfare Effects of Disability Insurance: A Survey," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 5(1), pages 161-189, March.
    11. Bjørneby, Marie & Markussen, Simen & Røed, Knut, 2020. "Does the Wealth Tax Kill Jobs?," IZA Discussion Papers 13766, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Disability insurance; Benefit generosity; Labor supply;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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