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Work Disability, Health, and Incentive Effects

  • Axel Börsch-Supan


    (Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA))

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    Disability insurance – the insurance against the loss of the ability to work – is a substantial part of social security expenditures in many countries. The enrolment rates in disability insurance vary strikingly across European countries and the US. This paper investigates the extent of, and the causes for, this variation, using data from SHARE, ELSA and HRS. We show that even after controlling for differences in the demographic structure and health status these differences remain. In turn, indicators of disability insurance generosity explain 75% of the cross-national variation. We conclude that country-specific disability insurance rules are a prime candidate to explain the observed cross-country variation in disability insurance enrolment.

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    Paper provided by Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy in its series MEA discussion paper series with number 07135.

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    Date of creation: 03 Jul 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:07135
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy, Amalienstraße 33, 80799 München, Germany
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    1. Sveinbjörn Blöndal & Stefano Scarpetta, 1999. "The Retirement Decision in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 202, OECD Publishing.
    2. Arie Kapteyn & James P. Smith & Arthur van Soest, 2005. "Self-reported Work Disability in the US and The Netherlands," Labor and Demography 0504006, EconWPA.
    3. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub99-1, December.
    4. Banks, James & Kapteyn, Arie & Smith, James P. & van Soest, Arthur, 2004. "International Comparisons of Work Disability," IZA Discussion Papers 1118, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Börsch-Supan, Axel, 2001. "Incentive Effects of Social Security Under an Uncertain Disability Option," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 01-42, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    6. Axel H. Boersch-Supan, 2001. "Incentive Effects of Social Security under an Uncertain Disability Option," NBER Chapters, in: Themes in the Economics of Aging, pages 281-310 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Agar Brugiavini & Tullio Jappelli & Guglielmo Weber, 2002. "The Survey on Health, Aging and Wealth," CSEF Working Papers 86, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
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