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The Effects of Disability Insurance: Evidence From Social Security's Disabled-Widow Program

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Abstract

This study measures the effect of disability insurance on labor supply and health insurance coverage. The effect is identified by a policy in 1990 that increased the generosity of Social Security’s disabled-widow program. Using data from the Current Population Survey, the results suggest that, in this context, disability benefits led to a one-to-one decline in labor force participation, employment, and private insurance coverage. The results imply that the demand for disability benefits may not reflect a latent demand for public health insurance. Key Words: disability insurance, health insurance, labor force participation, Social Security, widows JEL No. H55, J20

Suggested Citation

  • Perry Singleton, 2012. "The Effects of Disability Insurance: Evidence From Social Security's Disabled-Widow Program," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 148, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  • Handle: RePEc:max:cprwps:148
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Parsons, Donald O, 1980. "The Decline in Male Labor Force Participation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 117-134, February.
    2. Chen, Susan & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2008. "The work disincentive effects of the disability insurance program in the 1990s," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 757-784, February.
    3. Eric French & Jae Song, 2014. "The Effect of Disability Insurance Receipt on Labor Supply," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 291-337, May.
    4. Nicole Maestas & Kathleen J. Mullen & Alexander Strand, 2013. "Does Disability Insurance Receipt Discourage Work? Using Examiner Assignment to Estimate Causal Effects of SSDI Receipt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1797-1829, August.
    5. Singleton, Perry, 2012. "Earnings of rejected applicants to the Social Security Disability Insurance program," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 147-150.
    6. Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Disability Insurance Benefits and Labor Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1162-1183, December.
    7. 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.
    8. John Bound, 1991. "Self-Reported Versus Objective Measures of Health in Retirement Models," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(1), pages 106-138.
    9. Till von Wachter & Jae Song & Joyce Manchester, 2011. "Trends in Employment and Earnings of Allowed and Rejected Applicants to the Social Security Disability Insurance Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3308-3329, December.
    10. 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.
    11. Perry Singleton, 2009. "The Effect of Disability Insurance on Health Investment: Evidence from the Veterans Benefits Administration’s Disability Compensation Program," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(4).
    12. Campolieti, Michele, 2001. "The Canada/Quebec pension plan disability program and the labor force participation of older men," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 421-426, March.
    13. Michele Campolieti, 2004. "Disability Insurance Benefits and Labor Supply: Some Additional Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(4), pages 863-890, October.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General

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