IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/pubeco/v88y2004i12p2487-2514.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The welfare implications of increasing disability insurance benefit generosity

Author

Listed:
  • Bound, John
  • Cullen, Julie Berry
  • Nichols, Austin
  • Schmidt, Lucie

Abstract

The focus on efficiency costs in the empirical literature on Disability Insurance (DI) provides a misleading view of the adequacy of payment levels. In order to evaluate whether workers are over- or under-insured through the social insurance program, we develop a framework that allows us to simulate the benefits as well as the costs associated with marginal changes in payment generosity from a representative cross-sectional sample of the population. Under the assumption that individuals are reasonably risk averse, our simulations suggest the typical worker would value increased benefits somewhat above the average costs of providing them. However, we find that benefit increases tend to lower average utility when we average across all individuals in our sample, particularly at high levels of risk aversion. This counterintuitive finding arises because some lower income DI-insured workers face replacement rates that are near or above one. For such individuals, a benefit increase would represent transfers from an even lower income state of the world in which they are not on DI to one in which they are, a transfer that would not be beneficial even if there were no behavioral distortions associated with the provision of DI benefits.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:88:y:2004:i:12:p:2487-2514
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047-2727(03)00084-7
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert B. Barsky & Miles S. Kimball & F. Thomas Juster & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1995. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Working Papers 5213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. 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.
    3. Richard V. Burkhauser & Robert H. Haveman & Barbara L. Wolfe, 1993. "How people with disabilities fare when public policies change," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(2), pages 251-269.
    4. John Bound & Timothy Waidmann, 1992. "Disability Transfers, Self-Reported Health, and the Labor Force Attachment of Older Men: Evidence from the Historical Record," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1393-1419.
    5. Currie, Janet & Madrian, Brigitte C., 1999. "Health, health insurance and the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 50, pages 3309-3416, Elsevier.
    6. David H. Autor & Mark G. Duggan, 2003. "The Rise in the Disability Rolls and the Decline in Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 157-206.
    7. David H. Autor & Mark G. Duggan, 2001. "The Rise in Disability Recipiency and the Decline in Unemployment," JCPR Working Papers 226, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    8. Edward J. Bird, 1996. "Repairing the safety net: Is the EITC the right patch?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 1-31.
    9. O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), 1999. "Handbook of Labor Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 3, number 3.
    10. Patricia M. Anderson & Bruce D. Meyer, "undated". "The Incidence of a Firm-Varying Payroll Tax: The Case of Unemployment Insurance," IPR working papers 95-23, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
    11. John Bound & Timothy Waidmann, 2000. "Accounting for Recent Declines in Employment Rates among the Working-Aged Disabled," NBER Working Papers 7975, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Helen Levy, 2004. "Employer-Sponsored Disability Insurance: Where are the Gaps in Coverage?," NBER Working Papers 10382, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1990. "The Economic Well-Being of the Disabled: 1962-84," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(1), pages 32-54.
    14. Kreider, Brent, 1999. "Social Security Disability Insurance: Applications, Awards, and Lifetime Income Flows," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 784-827, October.
    15. Timothy Waidmann & John Bound & Michael Schoenbaum, 1995. "The Illusion of Failure: Trends in the Self-Reported Health of the U.S. Elderly," NBER Working Papers 5017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Disability Insurance Benefits and Labor Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1162-1183, December.
    17. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-641, June.
    18. Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
    19. Diamond, P. A. & Mirrlees, J. A., 1978. "A model of social insurance with variable retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 295-336, December.
    20. John Bound & Timothy Waidmann, 2002. "Accounting for Recent Declines in Employment Rates among Working-Aged Men and Women with Disabilities," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(2), pages 231-250.
    21. Varian, Hal R., 1980. "Redistributive taxation as social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 49-68, August.
    22. Diamond, Peter & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1995. "Economic aspects of optimal disability benefits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 1-23, May.
    23. Cullen, Julie Berry & Gruber, Jonathan, 2000. "Does Unemployment Insurance Crowd Out Spousal Labor Supply?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 546-572, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Hamish Low & Luigi Pistaferri, 2010. "Disability Risk, Disability Insurance and Life Cycle Behavior," NBER Working Papers 15962, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. 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.
    3. Marie, Olivier & Vall Castello, Judit, 2012. "Measuring the (income) effect of disability insurance generosity on labour market participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 198-210.
    4. Hamish Low & Costas Meghir & Luigi Pistaferri, 2010. "Wage Risk and Employment Risk over the Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1432-1467, September.
    5. Mari Rege & Kjetil Telle & Mark Votruba, 2012. "Social Interaction Effects in Disability Pension Participation: Evidence from Plant Downsizing," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(4), pages 1208-1239, December.
    6. De Laat, Joost & Sevilla-Sanz, Almudena, 2006. "Working women, men's home time and lowest-low fertility," ISER Working Paper Series 2006-23, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    7. Bruce Meyer & Wallace K. C. Mok, 2016. "Disability, Earnings, Income and Consumption," NBER Chapters, in: Social Insurance Programs (Trans-Atlantic Public Economics Seminar, TAPES), National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Hjellset Alne, Ragnar, 2018. "Economic incentives, disability insurance and labor supply," Working Papers in Economics 2/18, University of Bergen, Department of Economics, revised 14 Jun 2018.
    9. Amitabh Chandra & Andrew A. Samwick, 2009. "Disability Risk and the Value of Disability Insurance," NBER Chapters, in: Health at Older Ages: The Causes and Consequences of Declining Disability among the Elderly, pages 295-336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Hamish Low & Luigi Pistaferri, 2015. "Disability Insurance and the Dynamics of the Incentive Insurance Trade-Off," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(10), pages 2986-3029, October.
    11. Nathaniel Hendren, 2013. "Private Information and Insurance Rejections," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(5), pages 1713-1762, September.
    12. Amy Finkelstein & Nathaniel Hendren, 2020. "Welfare Analysis Meets Causal Inference," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 34(4), pages 146-167, Fall.
    13. Merkuryeva Irina, 2007. "The system of disability benefits in Russia. Estimation of targeting accuracy," EERC Working Paper Series 07-04e, EERC Research Network, Russia and CIS.
    14. Mullen, Kathleen J. & Staubli, Stefan, 2016. "Disability benefit generosity and labor force withdrawal," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 49-63.
    15. McClellan, Mark & Skinner, Jonathan, 2006. "The incidence of Medicare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 257-276, January.
    16. Lee, Siha, 2020. "Household responses to disability shocks: Spousal labor supply, caregiving, and disability insurance," CLEF Working Paper Series 21, Canadian Labour Economics Forum (CLEF), University of Waterloo.
    17. Siha Lee, 2020. "Spousal Labor Supply, Caregiving, and the Value of Disability Insurance," Department of Economics Working Papers 2020-08, McMaster University.
    18. Laura Turner & Giovanni Gallipoli, 2011. "Social Security, Endogenous Retirement, and Intrahousehold Cooperation," 2011 Meeting Papers 935, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    19. 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.
    20. Jeremy Barofsky & Stephen D. Younger, 2019. "The Effect of Government Health Expenditure on the Income Distribution: A Comparison of Valuation Methods in Ghana," Commitment to Equity (CEQ) Working Paper Series 66, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    21. Raj Chetty & Amy Finkelstein, 2012. "Social Insurance: Connecting Theory to Data," NBER Working Papers 18433, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Marie, Olivier & Vall Castello, Judit, 2012. "Measuring the (income) effect of disability insurance generosity on labour market participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 198-210.
    23. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2003. "Designing optimal disability insurance," Working Papers 628, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    24. repec:hrv:faseco:34330197 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Mark Duggan & Perry Singleton & Jae Song, 2005. "Aching to Retire? The Rise in the Full Retirement Age and its Impact on the Disability Rolls," NBER Working Papers 11811, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. John Bound & Julie Berry Cullen & Austin Nichols & Lucie Schmidt, 2002. "The Welfare Implications of Increasing DI Benefit Generosity," Working Papers wp024, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    2. Bruce Meyer & Wallace K. C. Mok, 2016. "Disability, Earnings, Income and Consumption," NBER Chapters, in: Social Insurance Programs (Trans-Atlantic Public Economics Seminar, TAPES), National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bound, John & Stinebrickner, Todd & Waidmann, Timothy, 2010. "Health, economic resources and the work decisions of older men," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 106-129, May.
    4. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pc:p:3417-3528 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Roger Wilkins, 2003. "Labour Market Outcomes and Welfare Dependence of Persons with Disabilities in Australia," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n02, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    6. Mark Duggan & Perry Singleton & Jae Song, 2005. "Aching to Retire? The Rise in the Full Retirement Age and its Impact on the Disability Rolls," NBER Working Papers 11811, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Butler, J. S. & Gumus, Gulcin, 2003. "Dynamic Modeling of the SSDI Application Timing Decision: The Importance of Policy Variables," IZA Discussion Papers 942, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Krueger, Alan B. & Meyer, Bruce D., 2002. "Labor supply effects of social insurance," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 33, pages 2327-2392, Elsevier.
    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. Owen O'Donnell & Eddy Van Doorslaer & Tom Van Ourti, 2013. "Health and Inequality," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-170/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    11. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2003. "Designing optimal disability insurance," Working Papers 628, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    12. David H. Autor & Mark G. Duggan, 2001. "The Rise in Disability Recipiency and the Decline in Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 8336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Meyer, Bruce D. & Mok, Wallace K.C., 2019. "Disability, earnings, income and consumption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 51-69.
    14. Mitra, Sophie, 2010. "Disability Cash Transfers in the Context of Poverty and Unemployment: The Case of South Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(12), pages 1692-1709, December.
    15. Sergi Jiménez-Martín & José M. Labeaga & Cristina Vilaplana Prieto, 2006. "Award errors and permanent disability benefits in Spain," Economics Working Papers 966, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    16. Barbara Hanel, 2010. "Disability Pensions and Labor Supply," Working Papers 086, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    17. Lex Borghans & Anne C. Gielen & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2014. "Social Support Substitution and the Earnings Rebound: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity in Disability Insurance Reform," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 34-70, November.
    18. David H. Autor & Mark Duggan & Kyle Greenberg & David S. Lyle, 2016. "The Impact of Disability Benefits on Labor Supply: Evidence from the VA's Disability Compensation Program," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 31-68, July.
    19. 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.
    20. Campolieti, Michele, 2002. "Disability and the labor force participation of older men in Canada," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 405-432, July.
    21. Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2001. "Welfare And Output Enhancing Moral Hazard:Disability Benefits And Endogenous Occupational Choice," Paul Frijters Discussion Papers 2001-1, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:88:y:2004:i:12:p:2487-2514. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.