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Has Pharmaceutical Innovation Reduced Social Security Disability Growth?

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  • Frank Lichtenberg

Abstract

This paper analyzes longitudinal state-level data during the period 1995-2004 to investigate whether use of newer prescription drugs has reduced the ratio of the number of workers receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits to the working-age population (the "DI recipiency rate"). All of the estimates indicate that there is a significant inverse relationship between disability recipiency and a good indicator of pharmaceutical innovation use: the mean vintage (FDA approval year) of Medicaid prescriptions. From 1995 to 2004, the actual disability rate increased 30%, from 2.62% to 3.42%. The estimates imply that in the absence of any post-1995 increase in drug vintage, the increase in the disability rate would have been 30% larger: the disability rate would have increased 39%, from 2.62% to 3.65%. This means that in the absence of any post-1995 increase in drug vintage, about 418,000 more working-age Americans would have been DI recipients.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank Lichtenberg, 2011. "Has Pharmaceutical Innovation Reduced Social Security Disability Growth?," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 293-316.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ijecbs:v:18:y:2011:i:2:p:293-316
    DOI: 10.1080/13571516.2011.584432
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Timothy J. Bartik, 1991. "Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wbsle.
    2. Hugo Benítez-Silva & Moshe Buchinsky & Hiu Man Chan & Sofia Cheidvasser & John Rust, 2004. "How large is the bias in self-reported disability?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 649-670.
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