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Disability Benefit Growth and Disability Reform in the U.S.: Lessons from Other OECD Nations

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Listed:
  • Burkhauser, Richard V.

    () (Cornell University)

  • Daly, Mary C.

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

  • McVicar, Duncan

    () (Queen’s University-Belfast)

  • Wilkins, Roger

    () (University of Melbourne)

Abstract

Unsustainable growth in program costs and beneficiaries, together with a growing recognition that even people with severe impairments can work, led to fundamental disability policy reforms in the Netherlands, Sweden, and Great Britain. In Australia, rapid growth in disability recipiency led to more modest reforms. Here we describe the factors driving unsustainable DI program growth in the U.S., show their similarity to the factors that led to unsustainable growth in these other four OECD countries, and discuss the reforms each country implemented to regain control over their cash transfer disability program. Although each country took a unique path to making and implementing fundamental reforms, shared lessons emerge from their experiences.

Suggested Citation

  • Burkhauser, Richard V. & Daly, Mary C. & McVicar, Duncan & Wilkins, Roger, 2013. "Disability Benefit Growth and Disability Reform in the U.S.: Lessons from Other OECD Nations," Working Paper Series 2013-40, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2013-40
    DOI: 10.24148/wp2013-40
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Duncan McVicar, 2008. "Why Have Uk Disability Benefit Rolls Grown So Much?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 114-139, February.
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    3. Daniela Andrén, 2003. "Sickness-related Absenteeism and Economic Incentives in Sweden: A History of Reforms," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 1(3), pages 54-60, 02.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gina Livermore & David Wittenburg & David Neumark, 2014. "Finding alternatives to disability benefit receipt," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-9, December.
    2. Hagen, Tobias, 2016. "Econometric Evaluation of a Placement Coaching Program for Recipients of Disability Insurance Benefits in Switzerland," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145736, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Silvia Garcia Mandico & Pilar (P.) Garcia-Gomez & Anne (A.C.) Gielen & Owen (O.A.) O'Donnell, 2018. "Earnings responses to disability benefit cuts," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 18-023/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Hagen, Tobias, 2016. "Econometric evaluation of a placement coaching program for recipients of disability insurance benefits in Switzerland," Working Paper Series: Business and Law 10, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Business and Law.
    5. René Böheim & Thomas Leoni, 2016. "Disability policies: Reform strategies in a comparative perspective," NBER Working Papers 22206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. 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.
    7. Rainer Eppel & Thomas Leoni & Helmut Mahringer, 2016. "Austria 2025 – Health and Employability. Status Quo and Perspectives for Reform," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 89(11), pages 785-798, November.
    8. Barbara Broadway & Duncan McVicar, 2015. "Reducing the Generosity and Increasing the Conditionality of Disability Benefits: Turning the Supertanker or Squeezing the Balloon?," Economics Working Papers 15-02, Queen's Management School, Queen's University Belfast.
    9. Wolter H.J. Hassink & Pierre Koning & Wim Zwinkels, 2015. "Employers Opting Out of Public Disability Insurance: Selection or Incentive Effects?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-081/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    10. David C. Stapleton & Yonatan Ben-Shalom & David R. Mann, 2015. "The Employment/Eligibility Service System: A New Gateway for Employment Supports and Social Security Disability Benefits," Mathematica Policy Research Reports d8835946ad2743028b4b7acfc, Mathematica Policy Research.
    11. Sergi Jiménez-Martín & Arnau Juanmarti Mestres & Judit Vall Castelló, 2016. "Great Recession and disability insurance in Spain," Economics Working Papers 1519, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 2017.
    12. Sergi Jiménez-Martín & Arnau Juanmarti Mestres & Judit Vall-Castello, 2016. "Great Recession and Disability in Spain," Working Papers 896, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    13. Jones, Melanie K. & McVicar, Duncan, 2017. "The Dynamics of Disability and Benefit Receipt in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 11186, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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    JEL classification:

    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs

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