IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/19016.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

How Financial Incentives Induce Disability Insurance Recipients to Return to Work

Author

Listed:
  • Andreas Ravndal Kostøl
  • Magne Mogstad

Abstract

Disability Insurance (DI) programs have long been criticized by economists for apparent work disincentives. Some countries have recently modified their programs such that DI recipients are allowed to keep some of their benefits if they return to work, and other countries are considering similar return-to-work policies. However, there is little empirical evidence of the effectiveness of programs that incentivize the return to work by DI recipients. Using a local randomized experiment that arises from a sharp discontinuity in DI policy in Norway, we provide transparent and credible identification of how financial incentives induce DI recipients to return to work. We find that many DI recipients have considerable capacity to work that can be effectively induced by providing financial work incentives. We further show that providing work incentives to DI recipients may both increase their disposable income and reduce program costs. Our findings also suggest that targeted policies may be the most effective in encouraging DI recipients to return to work.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Ravndal Kostøl & Magne Mogstad, 2013. "How Financial Incentives Induce Disability Insurance Recipients to Return to Work," NBER Working Papers 19016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19016
    Note: AG HE LS
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w19016.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Moffitt, Robert, 1992. "Incentive Effects of the U.S. Welfare System: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 1-61, March.
    2. Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2006. "What Mean Impacts Miss: Distributional Effects of Welfare Reform Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 988-1012, September.
    3. Chen, Susan & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2008. "The work disincentive effects of the disability insurance program in the 1990s," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 757-784, February.
    4. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
    5. Hilary Williamson Hoynes, 2000. "Local Labor Markets And Welfare Spells: Do Demand Conditions Matter?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 351-368, August.
    6. Bound, John, 1989. "The Health and Earnings of Rejected Disability Insurance Applicants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 482-503, June.
    7. Dan Black & Kermit Daniel & Seth Sanders, 2002. "The Impact of Economic Conditions on Participation in Disability Programs: Evidence from the Coal Boom and Bust," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 27-50, March.
    8. Kleven, Henrik Jacobsen & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup, 2006. "The marginal cost of public funds: Hours of work versus labor force participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1955-1973, November.
    9. Moore, Timothy J., 2015. "The employment effects of terminating disability benefits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 30-43.
    10. Kevin S. Milligan & David A. Wise, 2011. "Social Security and Retirement around the World: Historical Trends in Mortality and Health, Employment, and Disability Insurance Participation and Reforms - Introduction and Summary," NBER Working Papers 16719, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. David Autor & Nicole Maestas & Kathleen Mullen & Alexander Strand, 2011. "Does Delay Cause Decay? The Effect of Administrative Decision Time on the Labor Force Participation and Earnings of Disability Applicants," Working Papers wp258, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    12. Michael P. Keane, 2011. "Labor Supply and Taxes: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(4), pages 961-1075, December.
    13. Eric French & Jae Song, 2014. "The Effect of Disability Insurance Receipt on Labor Supply," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 291-337, May.
    14. Espen Bratberg, 1999. "Disability Retirement in a Welfare State," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(1), pages 97-114, March.
    15. Campolieti, Michele & Riddell, Chris, 2012. "Disability policy and the labor market: Evidence from a natural experiment in Canada, 1998–2006," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 306-316.
    16. Guido Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2012. "Optimal Bandwidth Choice for the Regression Discontinuity Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 933-959.
    17. Lex Borghans & Anne C. Gielen & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2014. "Social Support Substitution and the Earnings Rebound: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity in Disability Insurance Reform," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 34-70, November.
    18. David H. Autor, 2015. "The unsustainable rise of the disability rolls in the United States: causes, consequences and policy options," Chapters, in: John Karl Scholz & Hyungypo Moon & Sang-Hyup Lee (ed.), Social Policies in an Age of Austerity, chapter 5, pages 107-136, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    19. Mari Rege & Kjetil Telle & Mark Votruba, 2009. "The Effect of Plant Downsizing on Disability Pension Utilization," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(4), pages 754-785, June.
    20. Parsons, Donald O, 1991. "The Health and Earnings of Rejected Disability Insurance Applicants: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1419-1426, December.
    21. Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2002. "Estimating the Effect of Financial Aid Offers on College Enrollment: A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1249-1287, November.
    22. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
    23. 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.
    24. Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Disability Insurance Benefits and Labor Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1162-1183, December.
    25. Hoynes, Hilary Williamson & Moffitt, Robert, 1999. "Tax Rates and Work Incentives in the Social Security Disability Insurance Program: Current Law and Alternative Reforms," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 52(4), pages 623-654, December.
    26. 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.
    27. repec:mpr:mprres:6153 is not listed on IDEAS
    28. Bound, John, 1991. "The Health and Earnings of Rejected Disability Insurance Applicants: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1427-1434, December.
    29. Bratsberg, Bernt & Fevang, Elisabeth & Røed, Knut, 2010. "Disability in the Welfare State: An Unemployment Problem in Disguise?," IZA Discussion Papers 4897, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    30. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
    31. Till von Wachter & Jae Song & Joyce Manchester, 2011. "Trends in Employment and Earnings of Allowed and Rejected Applicants to the Social Security Disability Insurance Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3308-3329, December.
    32. Richard V. Burkhauser & Mary C. Daly, 2012. "Social Security Disability Insurance: Time For Fundamental Change," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(2), pages 454-461, March.
    33. Michele Campolieti, 2004. "Disability Insurance Benefits and Labor Supply: Some Additional Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(4), pages 863-890, October.
    34. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule to Estimate the Effect of Class Size on Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Gordon B. Dahl & Andreas Ravndal Kostøl & Magne Mogstad, 2014. "Family Welfare Cultures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(4), pages 1711-1752.
    2. Alexander Gelber & Timothy J. Moore & Alexander Strand, 2017. "The Effect of Disability Insurance Payments on Beneficiaries' Earnings," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 229-261, August.
    3. Jeffrey Hemmeter & Michelle Stegman Bailey, 2016. "Earnings after DI: evidence from full medical continuing disability reviews," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-22, December.
    4. Koning, Pierre & van Sonsbeek, Jan-Maarten, 2017. "Making disability work? The effects of financial incentives on partially disabled workers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 202-215.
    5. Shu, Pian, 2015. "Asset accumulation and labor force participation of disability insurance applicants," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 26-40.
    6. Koning, Pierre & Muller, Paul & Prudon, Roger, 2020. "Do Disability Benefits Hinder Work Resumption after Recovery?," IZA Discussion Papers 13971, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. David H. Autor & Mark Duggan & Kyle Greenberg & David S. Lyle, 2016. "The Impact of Disability Benefits on Labor Supply: Evidence from the VA's Disability Compensation Program," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 31-68, July.
    8. Garcia-Mandicó, Sílvia & García-Gómez, Pilar & Gielen, Anne C. & O’Donnell, Owen, 2020. "Earnings responses to disability insurance stringency," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
    9. Myhre, Andreas, 2021. "Intensive and Extensive Margin Labor Supply Responses to Kinks in Disability Insurance Programs," MPRA Paper 109547, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Zaresani, Arezou & Olivo-Villabrille, Miguel, 2021. "Return-to-Work Policies' Clawback Regime and Labor Supply in Disability Insurance Programs," IZA Discussion Papers 14565, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Hjellset Alne, Ragnar, 2018. "Economic incentives, disability insurance and labor supply," Working Papers in Economics 2/18, University of Bergen, Department of Economics, revised 14 Jun 2018.
    12. Moore, Timothy J., 2015. "The employment effects of terminating disability benefits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 30-43.
    13. Deuchert, Eva & Eugster, Beatrix, 2019. "Income and substitution effects of a disability insurance reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 1-14.
    14. 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.
    15. Hamish Low & Luigi Pistaferri, 2020. "Disability Insurance: Theoretical Trade‐Offs and Empirical Evidence," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(1), pages 129-164, March.
    16. Tobias Müller & Stefan Boes, 2020. "Disability insurance benefits and labor supply decisions: evidence from a discontinuity in benefit awards," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 58(5), pages 2513-2544, May.
    17. Judit Vall Castelló, 2017. "What happens to the employment of disabled individuals when all financial disincentives to work are abolished?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(S2), pages 158-174, September.
    18. Perry Singleton, 2009. "The Effective Target of the Social Security Disability Benefits Reform Act of 1984," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 119, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
    19. Chiara Dal Bianco, 2019. "Labour Supply and Welfare Effects of Disability Insurance: A Survey," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 5(1), pages 161-189, March.
    20. Gordon B. Dahl & Anne C. Gielen, 2021. "Intergenerational Spillovers in Disability Insurance," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 116-150, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19016. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.