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Asset Accumulation and Labor Force Participation of Disability Insurance Applicants

  • Pian Shu

    ()

    (Harvard Business School, Technology and Operations Management Unit)

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    Using panel data from the RAND Health and Retirement Study, I show that rejected applicants for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) possess significantly more assets immediately prior to their application and exhibit lower labor force attachment than accepted applicants. These findings are consistent with the theoretical prediction that disability insurance may encourage individuals to save more in the present and plan to apply for disability benefits in the future, regardless of the state of their future health. Because the current empirical literature does not account for this intertemporal channel, it may underestimate the total work disincentive effect of SSDI.

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    File URL: http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/pages/download.aspx?name=14-008.pdf
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    Paper provided by Harvard Business School in its series Harvard Business School Working Papers with number 14-008.

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    Length: 51 pages
    Date of creation: Jul 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:14-008
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    1. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2004. "Designing Optimal Disability Insurance: A Case for Asset Testing," NBER Working Papers 10792, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Nicole Maestas & Kathleen Mullen & Alexander Strand, 2012. "Does Disability Insurance Receipt Discourage Work? Using Examiner Assignment to Estimate Causal Effects of SSDI Receipt," Working Papers wp241, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Gruber, Jonathan & Kubik, Jeffrey D., 1997. "Disability insurance rejection rates and the labor supply of older workers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 1-23, April.
    6. P. A. Diamond & J. A. Mirrlees, 1977. "A Model of Social Insurance With Variable Retirement," Working papers 210, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    7. Engen, Eric M. & Gruber, Jonathan, 2001. "Unemployment insurance and precautionary saving," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 545-579, June.
    8. Dan Black & Kermit Daniel & Seth Sanders, 2002. "The Impact of Economic Conditions on Participation in Disability Programs: Evidence from the Coal Boom and Bust," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 27-50, March.
    9. John Bound, 1989. "The Health and Earnings of Rejected Disability Insurance Applicants," NBER Working Papers 2816, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Borghans, Lex & Gielen, Anne C. & Luttmer, Erzo F.P., 2010. "Social Support Substitution and the Earnings Rebound: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity in Disability Insurance Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 5412, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Duggan, Mark & Singleton, Perry & Song, Jae, 2007. "Aching to retire? The rise in the full retirement age and its impact on the social security disability rolls," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1327-1350, August.
    12. Mark Duggan & Scott A. Imberman, 2009. "Why Are the Disability Rolls Skyrocketing? The Contribution of Population Characteristics, Economic Conditions, and Program Generosity," NBER Chapters, in: Health at Older Ages: The Causes and Consequences of Declining Disability among the Elderly, pages 337-379 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. David Autor & Mark Duggan & Jonathan Gruber, 2014. "Moral Hazard and Claims Deterrence in Private Disability Insurance," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 110-41, October.
    14. Seth Giertz & Jeffrey Kubik, 2011. "The Disability Screening Process and the Labor Market Behavior of Accepted and Rejected Applicants: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 237-253, September.
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