IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Obesity, Disability, and Movement Onto the Disability Insurance Rolls

  • Richard V. Burkhauser

    (Cornell University)

  • John Cawley

    (Cornell University)

Between the early 1980s and 2002, both the prevalence of obesity and the number of beneficiaries of the Social Security Disability Insurance program doubled. We test whether these trends are related; specifically, we test whether obesity causes disability and movement onto the disability rolls. We estimate models of instrumental variables using two nationally representative data sets, the Panel Survey of Income Dynamics and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979 Cohort. The results are mixed but we find evidence that weight increases the probability of health-related work limitations and the probability of receiving disability related income. Our results suggest that the failure to treat obesity as endogenous leads to dramatic underestimates of the link between obesity and disability outcomes. Authors’ Acknowledgements We thank seminar participants at Ohio State University and the 2004 Conference of the Social Security Retirement Research Consortium for their helpful comments. We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the University of Michigan Retirement Research Consortium and the Bronfenbrenner Life Course Center at Cornell University. We thank Shuaizhang Feng for expert research assistance.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center in its series Working Papers with number wp089.

in new window

Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp089
Contact details of provider: Postal: P.O. Box 1248, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Phone: (734) 615-0422
Fax: (734) 647-4575
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp089. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (MRRC Administrator)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.