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Disability testing and retirement

  • CREMER, Helmuth
  • LOZACHMEUR, Jean-Marie
  • PESTIEAU, Pierre

This paper studies the design of retirement and disability policies. It illustrates the often observed exit from the labor force of healthy workers through disability insurance schemes. Two types of individuals, disabled and leisure-prone ones, have the same disutility for labor and cannot be distinguished. However, they are not counted in the same way in social welfare. Beneï¬ts depend on retirement age and on the (reported) health status. We determine ï¬rst- and second-best optimal beneï¬t levels and retirement ages and focus on the distortions which may be induced in the individuals' retirement decision. Then we introduce the possibility of testing which sorts out disabled workers from healthy but retirement-prone workers. We show that such testing can increase both social welfare and the rate of participation of elderly workers; in addition disabled workers are better taken care of. It is not optimal to test all applicants. Surprisingly, the (second-best) solution may imply later retirement for the disabled than for the leisure prone. In that case, the disabled are compensated by higher beneï¬ts.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 2006016.

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Date of creation: 00 Feb 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2006016
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  1. Cremer, Helmuth & Lozachmeur, Jean-Marie & Pestieau, Pierre, 2004. "Social security, retirement age and optimal income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(11), pages 2259-2281, September.
  2. Raphael Desmet & Alain Jousten & Sergio Perelman & Pierre Pestieau, 2007. "Microsimulation of Social Security Reforms in Belgium," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Fiscal Implications of Reform, pages 43-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. MARCHAND, Maurice & PESTIEAU, Pierre & DEL MAR RACIONERO, Maria, 2003. "Optimal redistribution when different workers are indistinguishable," CORE Discussion Papers 2003018, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. BOADWAY, Robin & MARCHAND, Maurice & PESTIEAU , Pierre & RACIONERO, Maria del mar, . "Optimal redistribution with heterogeneous preferences for leisure," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1566, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Crawford, Vincent P & Lilien, David M, 1981. "Social Security and the Retirement Decision," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 96(3), pages 505-29, August.
  6. CREMER, Helmuth & LOZACHMEUR, Jean-Marie & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "Optimal retirements and disability benefits with audit," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1836, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1986. " Payroll-Tax Financed Social Insurance with Variable Retirement," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(1), pages 25-50.
  8. 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.
  9. Diamond, Peter & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1995. "Economic aspects of optimal disability benefits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 1-23, May.
  10. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 2002. "Social Security Programs and Retirement Around the World: Micro Estimation," NBER Working Papers 9407, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Boadway, Robin & Keen, Michael, 2000. "Redistribution," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 677-789 Elsevier.
  12. Parsons, Donald O, 1991. "The Health and Earnings of Rejected Disability Insurance Applicants: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1419-26, December.
  13. Parsons, Donald O., 1996. "Imperfect 'tagging' in social insurance programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1-2), pages 183-207, October.
  14. Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Disability Insurance Benefits and Labor Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1162-1183, December.
  15. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub99-1, June.
  16. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Introduction to "Social Security and Retirement around the World"," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 1-35 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Parsons, Donald O, 1980. "The Decline in Male Labor Force Participation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 117-34, February.
  18. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Social Security and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 7830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. M. Fleurbaey & F. Maniquet, 1999. "Optimal income taxation : An ordinal approach," THEMA Working Papers 99-43, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
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