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Push and Pull: Disability Insurance, Regional Labor Markets, and Benefit Generosity in Canada and the United States

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  • Kevin Milligan
  • Tammy Schirle

Abstract

Disability insurance take-up has expanded substantially in the past twenty years in the United States while shrinking in Canada. We empirically assess these trends by measuring the strength of the ‘push’ from weak labor markets versus the ‘pull’ of more generous benefits. Using an instrumental variables strategy comparing benefit changes across country, age, and year, we find that both benefits and regional wages matter. Simulations suggest that the upswing in disability insurance take-up in the United States would be reversed, dropping the caseload by one third, if benefits and wages had followed the growth path observed in Canada.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin Milligan & Tammy Schirle, 2017. "Push and Pull: Disability Insurance, Regional Labor Markets, and Benefit Generosity in Canada and the United States," NBER Working Papers 23405, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23405 Note: PE
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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