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Curing the Dutch Disease: Lessons for United States Disability Policy

Author

Listed:
  • Richard V. Burkhauser

    (Cornell University)

  • Mary C. Daly

    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

  • Philip R. de Jong

    (APE, Inc.)

Abstract

In the 1990s, the United States reformed welfare programs targeted on single mothers and dramatically reduced their benefit receipt while increasing their employment and economic wellbeing. Despite increasing calls to do the same for working age people with disabilities in the U.S., disability cash transfer program rolls continue to grow as their employment rates fall and their economic well-being stagnates. In contrast to the failure to reform United States disability policy, the Netherlands, once considered to have the most out of control disability program among OECD nations, initiated reforms in 2002 that have dramatically reduced their disability cash transfer rolls, while maintaining a strong but less generous social minimum safety net for all those who do not work. Here we review disability program growth in the United States and the Netherlands, link it to changes in their disability policies and show that while difficult to achieve, fundamental disability reform is possible. We argue that shifts in SSI policies that focus on better integrating working age men and women with disabilities into the work force along the lines of those implemented for single mothers in the 1990s, together with SSDI program changes that better integrate private and public disability insurance programs along the lines of the reforms in the Netherlands, offer the best hope of improving their employment rates and economic well-being as well as reducing SSDI/SSI program growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard V. Burkhauser & Mary C. Daly & Philip R. de Jong, 2008. "Curing the Dutch Disease: Lessons for United States Disability Policy," Working Papers wp188, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp188
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    File URL: http://www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/Papers/pdf/wp188.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bound, John & Burkhauser, Richard V., 1999. "Economic analysis of transfer programs targeted on people with disabilities," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 51, pages 3417-3528 Elsevier.
    2. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua D. Angrist, 2001. "Consequences of Employment Protection? The Case of the Americans with Disabilities Act," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 915-957, October.
    3. Mary Daly & Richard V. Burkhauser, 2003. "The Supplemental Security Income Program," NBER Chapters,in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 79-140 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Richard Burkhauser & Mary Daly & Andrew Houtenville & Nigar Nargis, 2002. "Self-reported work-limitation data: What they can and cannot tell US," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 39(3), pages 541-555, August.
    5. Peter P. Budetti & Richard V. Burkhauser & Janice M. Gregory & H. Allan Hunt (ed.), 2001. "Ensuring Health and Income Security for an Aging Workforce," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number ehis, November.
    6. Julie L. Hotchkiss, 2003. "The Labor Market Experience of Workers with Disabilities: The ADA and Beyond," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number lmewd, November.
    7. Richard V. Burkhauser & Takashi Oshio & Ludmila Rovba, 2008. "How the Distribution of After-Tax Income Changed Over the 1990s Business Cycle: A Comparison of the United States, Great Britain, Germany and Japan," Journal of Income Distribution, Journal of Income Distribution, vol. 17(1), pages 87-109, March.
    8. John Bound & Timothy Waidmann, 2000. "Accounting for Recent Declines in Employment Rates among the Working-Aged Disabled," NBER Working Papers 7975, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. John Bound & Richard Burkhauser & Austin Nichols, 2001. "Tracking the Household Income of SSDI and SSI Applicants," Working Papers wp009, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    10. 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.
    11. Jeff Larrimore & Richard V. Burkhauser & Shuaizhang Feng & Laura Zayatz, 2008. "Consistent Cell Means for Topcoded Incomes in the Public Use March CPS (1976-2007)," NBER Working Papers 13941, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. repec:crr:crrwps:2002-07 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Julie L. Hotchkiss, 2004. "A Closer Look at the Employment Impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Marie, Olivier & Vall Castello, Judit, 2012. "Measuring the (income) effect of disability insurance generosity on labour market participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 198-210.
    2. Hullegie, Patrick & Koning, Pierre, 2015. "Employee Health and Employer Incentives," IZA Discussion Papers 9310, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Richard V. Burkhauser & Mary C. Daly & Jeff Larrimore & Joyce Kwok, 2008. "The Transformation in Who is Expected to Work in the United States and How it Changed the Lives of Single Mothers and People with Disabilities," Working Papers wp187, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    4. David H. Autor, 2015. "The unsustainable rise of the disability rolls in the United States: causes, consequences and policy options," Chapters,in: Social Policies in an Age of Austerity, chapter 5, pages 107-136 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. T. Everhardt & Ph. Jong, 2011. "Return to Work After Long Term Sickness," De Economist, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 361-380, September.
    6. Matthew J. Hill & Nicole Maestas & Kathleen J. Mullen, 2014. "Employer accommodation and labor supply of disabled workers," Economics Working Papers 1450, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    7. Pilar Garcia-Gomez & Hans van Kippersluis & Owen O'Donnell & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2011. "Effects of Health on Own and Spousal Employment and Income using Acute Hospital Admissions," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-143/2, Tinbergen Institute.

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