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Disability, Health and Retirement in the United Kingdom

Author

Listed:
  • James Banks
  • Richard Blundell
  • Antoine Bozio
  • Carl Emmerson

Abstract

Over the last thirty years pathways to retirement have changed substantially in the UK. They have been dominated by spells of unemployment in the late 1970s, with then an increased importance of disability spells from the mid-1980s onwards. At the end of the period the direct route from work to retirement was increasingly more common. General economic conditions seem to have been important driving forces during the entire period. In contrast changes in health do not seem to provide convincing explanations for these trends: mortality has been falling over the period without any apparent link to the share of the population reporting ill health or disability or to the number claiming benefits. We also find evidence that recent reforms have had some impact. The halting of the previous growth in the rate of in-flow onto disability benefits in the mid-1990s coincided with the implementation of a major reform. Evidence from the pilots of the Pathways-to-Work programme in 2003-2005 suggests that those moving onto disability benefits moved off these benefits faster than they would otherwise have done as a direct result of the programme.

Suggested Citation

  • James Banks & Richard Blundell & Antoine Bozio & Carl Emmerson, 2011. "Disability, Health and Retirement in the United Kingdom," NBER Working Papers 17049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17049
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17049.pdf
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    Other versions of this item:

    • James Banks & Richard Blundell & Antoine Bozio & Carl Emmerson, 2012. "Disability, Health and Retirement in the United Kingdom," NBER Chapters,in: Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Historical Trends in Mortality and Health, Employment, and Disability Insurance Participatio, pages 41-77 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hugo Benítez-Silva & Richard Disney & Sergi Jiménez-Martín, 2010. "Disability, capacity for work and the business cycle: an international perspective," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 25, pages 483-536, July.
    2. Michael Anyadike-Danes & Duncan McVicar, 2008. "Has the Boom in Incapacity Benefit Claimant Numbers Passed Its Peak?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 29(4), pages 415-434, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lindeboom, Maarten & Llena-Nozal, Ana & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2016. "Health shocks, disability and work," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 186-200.
    2. David Wise, 2010. "Facilitating longer working lives: International evidence on why and how," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 47(1), pages 131-149, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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