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Disability Risk, Disability Insurance and Life Cycle Behavior

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  • Hamish Low
  • Luigi Pistaferri

Abstract

This paper provides a life-cycle framework for weighing up the insurance value of disability benefits against the incentive cost. Within this framework, we estimate the life-cycle risks that individuals face in the US, as well as the parameters governing the disability insurance program, using indirect inference and longitudinal data on consumption, disability status, disability insurance receipt, and wages. We use our estimates to characterize the economic effects of disability programs and to consider how policy reforms would affect behaviour and standard measures of household welfare. Because of high levels of false rejections associated with the screening problem, average household welfare increases as the program becomes less strict, despite the worsening incentives that this implies. Incentives for false applications are reduced by reducing generosity and increasing reassessments and these policies also increase average household welfare, despite the worse insurance implied.

Suggested Citation

  • Hamish Low & Luigi Pistaferri, 2010. "Disability Risk, Disability Insurance and Life Cycle Behavior," NBER Working Papers 15962, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15962
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    1. repec:asb:wpaper:201216 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Hamish Low & Costas Meghir & Luigi Pistaferri, 2010. "Wage Risk and Employment Risk over the Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1432-1467, September.
    3. Liu, Kai, 2015. "Wage Risk and the Value of Job Mobility in Early Employment Careers," IZA Discussion Papers 9256, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Bruce Meyer & Wallace K. C. Mok, 2016. "Disability, Earnings, Income and Consumption," NBER Chapters, in: Social Insurance Programs (Trans-Atlantic Public Economics Seminar, TAPES), National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Bick, Alexander & Choi, Sekyu, 2013. "Revisiting the effect of household size on consumption over the life-cycle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 2998-3011.
    6. Yang, Guanyi, 2018. "Endogenous Skills and Labor Income Inequality," MPRA Paper 89638, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Monika Bütler & Eva Deuchert & Michael Lechner & Stefan Staubli & Petra Thiemann, 2015. "Financial work incentives for disability benefit recipients: lessons from a randomised field experiment," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-18, December.
    8. Meghir, Costas & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2011. "Earnings, Consumption and Life Cycle Choices," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 9, pages 773-854, Elsevier.
    9. Felix Reichling & Kent Smetters, 2013. "Optimal Annuitization with Stochastic Mortality Probabilities," NBER Working Papers 19211, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. García-Gómez, Pilar, 2011. "Institutions, health shocks and labour market outcomes across Europe," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 200-213, January.
    11. Blundell, R. & French, E. & Tetlow, G., 2016. "Retirement Incentives and Labor Supply," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, in: Piggott, John & Woodland, Alan (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 457-566, Elsevier.
    12. Haan, Peter & Prowse, Victoria, 2014. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance and Welfare Benefits in a Life-cycle model of Family Labor Supply and Savings," VfS Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100625, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Kai Liu, 2010. "Wage Risk, On-the-job Search and Partial Insurance," 2010 Meeting Papers 1136, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. Eric French & Jae Song, 2012. "The effect of Disability Insurance receipt on labor supply: a dynamic analysis," Working Paper Series WP-2012-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    15. Pilar García-Gómez & Hans-Martin Gaudecker & Maarten Lindeboom, 2011. "Health, disability and work: patterns for the working age population," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 18(2), pages 146-165, April.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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