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The Great Recession, Older Workers with Disabilities, and Implications for Retirement Security

  • Purvi Sevak

    (Hunter College and Graduate Center, CUNY)

  • Lucie Schmidt

    (Williams College)

  • Onur Altindag

    (Graduate Center, CUNY)

Evidence suggests that older workers with disabilities have been hit particularly hard by the recent recession. The increased difficulty in finding a job faced by individuals with disabilities, combined with the longer spells of unemployment experienced by all workers in this recession, could mean that laid-off disabled workers in their pre-retirement years may never return to work. In this paper, we use data from the 2004-2010 waves of the Health and Retirement Study to examine how the great recession has affected workers with chronic health conditions that put them at greater risk of disability. Our results suggest that increases in job losses were 30% greater for those with greater underlying risk of disability than for the general HRS population, and decreases in consumption were 20% greater. These results have important implications for the well-being of disabled individuals nearing retirement.

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File URL: http://www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/Papers/pdf/wp277.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center in its series Working Papers with number wp277.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp277
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  1. Richard V. Burkhauser & Mary C. Daly & Andrew J. Houtenville & Nigar Nargis, 2002. "Self-reported work limitation data: what they can and cannot tell us," Working Paper Series 2002-22, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  2. Hugo Benítez Silva & Richard Disney & Sergi Jiménez-Martín, 2009. "Disability, capacity for work and the business cycle: An international perspective," Economics Working Papers 1171, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. Debra S. Dwyer & Olivia S. Mitchell, . "Health Problems as Determinants of Retirement: Are Self-Rated Measures Endogenous?," Pension Research Council Working Papers 98-7, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
  4. 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.
  5. Hugo Benitez-Silva & Moshe Buchinsky & Hiu Man Chan & Sofia Cheidvasser & John Rust, 2000. "How Large is the Bias in Self-Reported Disability?," Working Papers 2000-01, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  6. Timothy Waidmann & John Bound & Michael Schoenbaum, 1995. "The Illusion of Failure: Trends in the Self-Reported Health of the U.S. Elderly," NBER Working Papers 5017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jody Schimmel & David C. Stapleton, 2010. "Protecting the Household Incomes of Older Workers with Significant Health-Related Work Limitations in an Era of Fiscal Responsibility," Working Papers wp244, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
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