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SSI for Disabled Immigrants: Why Do Ethnic Networks Matter?


  • Delia Furtado
  • Nikolaos Theodoropoulos


Immigrants residing among many people who share their ethnic background are especially likely to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for a disability when they belong to high SSI take-up immigrant groups. After showing that this relationship cannot be fully explained by differences in health, we consider the likely sources of these network effects by separately examining their role in the decision to apply for SSI and, conditional on applying, their role in determining who ultimately receives benefits. Our results suggest that networks may increase the probability of applying for SSI despite minor disabilities, but it is unlikely that network effects are driven by egregious lies on applications.

Suggested Citation

  • Delia Furtado & Nikolaos Theodoropoulos, 2013. "SSI for Disabled Immigrants: Why Do Ethnic Networks Matter?," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2013-7, Center for Retirement Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:crr:crrwps:wp2013-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aizer, Anna & Currie, Janet, 2004. "Networks or neighborhoods? Correlations in the use of publicly-funded maternity care in California," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2573-2585, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Halberstam, Yosh & Knight, Brian, 2016. "Homophily, group size, and the diffusion of political information in social networks: Evidence from Twitter," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 73-88.

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    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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