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Unemployment Insurance and Disability Insurance in the Great Recession

Author

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  • Andreas I. Mueller
  • Jesse Rothstein
  • Till M. von Wachter

Abstract

Disability insurance (DI) applications and awards are countercyclical. One potential explanation is that unemployed individuals who exhaust their Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits use DI as a form of extended benefits. We exploit the haphazard pattern of UI benefit extensions in the Great Recession to identify the effect of UI exhaustion on DI application, using both aggregate data at the state-month and state-week levels and microdata on unemployed individuals in the Current Population Survey. We find no indication that expiration of UI benefits causes DI applications. Our estimates are sufficiently precise to rule out effects of meaningful magnitude.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas I. Mueller & Jesse Rothstein & Till M. von Wachter, 2013. "Unemployment Insurance and Disability Insurance in the Great Recession," NBER Working Papers 19672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19672
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Landais, Camille & Michaillat, Pascal & Saez, Emmanuel, 2010. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance over the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 8132, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Jesse Rothstein & Robert G. Valletta, 2017. "Scraping by: Income and Program Participation After the Loss of Extended Unemployment Benefits," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 36(4), pages 880-908, September.
    3. Jesse Rothstein, 2011. "Unemployment Insurance and Job Search in the Great Recession," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(2 (Fall)), pages 143-213.
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    6. Johannes F. Schmieder† & Till von Wachter & Stefan Bender, 2011. "The Effects Of Extended Unemployment Insurance Over The Business Cycle: Evidence From Regression Discontinuity Estimates Over Twenty Years," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-063, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    7. Steven J. Davis & Till Von Wachter, 2011. "Recessions and the Costs of Job Loss," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(2 (Fall)), pages 1-72.
    8. Mark Duggan & Scott A. Imberman, 2009. "Why Are the Disability Rolls Skyrocketing? The Contribution of Population Characteristics, Economic Conditions, and Program Generosity," NBER Chapters,in: Health at Older Ages: The Causes and Consequences of Declining Disability among the Elderly, pages 337-379 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Nicole Maestas & Kathleen J. Mullen & Alexander Strand, 2013. "Does Disability Insurance Receipt Discourage Work? Using Examiner Assignment to Estimate Causal Effects of SSDI Receipt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1797-1829, August.
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    11. Norma B. Coe & Kelly Haverstick & Alicia H. Munnell & Anthony Webb, 2011. "What Explains State Variation in SSDI Application Rates?," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2011-23, Center for Retirement Research, revised Nov 2011.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jesse Rothstein & Robert G. Valletta, 2017. "Scraping by: Income and Program Participation After the Loss of Extended Unemployment Benefits," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 36(4), pages 880-908, September.
    2. East, Chloe N. & Kuka, Elira, 2015. "Reexamining the consumption smoothing benefits of Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 32-50.
    3. Robert E. Hall, 2014. "Quantifying the Lasting Harm to the U.S. Economy from the Financial Crisis," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2014, Volume 29, pages 71-128 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Bagaria, Nitika & Petrongolo, Barbara & Van Reenen, John, 2015. "Can Helping the Sick Hurt the Able? Incentives, Information and Disruption in a Disability-Related Welfare Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 9089, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2017. "Social Insurance and Health," IZA Discussion Papers 10918, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Johannes F. Schmieder & Till von Wachter & Stefan Bender, 2016. "The Effect of Unemployment Benefits and Nonemployment Durations on Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(3), pages 739-777, March.
    7. Stephanie Aaronson & Tomaz Cajner & Bruce Fallick & Felix Galbis-Reig & Christopher Smith & William Wascher, 2014. "Labor Force Participation: Recent Developments and Future Prospects," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 45(2 (Fall)), pages 197-275.
    8. Marco Di Maggio & Amir Kermani, 2016. "The Importance of Unemployment Insurance as an Automatic Stabilizer," NBER Working Papers 22625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Josef Zweimüller, 2018. "Unemployment insurance and the labor market," ECON - Working Papers 276, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    10. Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2015. "Understanding the Increase in Disability Insurance Benefit Receipt in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 123-150, Spring.
    11. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Dmitri Koustas, 2013. "Amerisclerosis? The Puzzle of Rising U.S. Unemployment Persistence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 44(2 (Fall)), pages 193-260.
    12. Dave Reifschneider & William Wascher & David Wilcox, 2015. "Aggregate Supply in the United States: Recent Developments and Implications for the Conduct of Monetary Policy," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 63(1), pages 71-109, May.
    13. Marianne Bitler & Hilary Hoynes, 2016. "The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same? The Safety Net and Poverty in the Great Recession," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S1), pages 403-444.
    14. Nitika Bagaria & Barbara Petrongolo & John Van Reenen, 2015. "Can Helping the Sick Hurt the Able? Incentives, Information and Disruption in a Welfare Reform," CEP Discussion Papers dp1347, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    15. Lucie Schmidt, 2013. "The New Safety Net? Supplemental Security Income after Welfare Reform," Department of Economics Working Papers 2013-07, Department of Economics, Williams College.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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