Disability Insurance Rejection Rates and the Labor Supply of Older Workers
Disability Insurance (DI), which provides income support to disabled workers, has been criticized for inducing a large fall in the labor force participation rate of older workers. We study the effects of one policy response designed to address this moral hazard problem: raising the rate at which DI claims are denied. Initial DI applications are decided at the state level, and, in response to a funding crisis for the DI program in the late 1970s, the states raised their rejection rates for first time applicants by 30% on average. The extent of this rise, however, varied substantially across states. We use this variation to estimate a significant reduction in labor force non-participation among older workers in response to denial rate rises. A 10% increase in denial rates led to a 2.7% fall in non- participation among 45-64 year old males; between 1/2 and 2/3 of this effect is a true reduction in labor force leaving, with the remainder accounted for by the return to work of denied applicants. We find some support for the notion that increases in denial rates effectively target their incentive effects to more able individuals; the fall in labor force non-participation was much stronger among more able workers, according to an anthropometric measure of disability.
|Date of creation:||Nov 1994|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Gruber, Jonathan and Jeffrey D. Kubik. "Disability Insurance Rejection Rates And The Labor Supply Of Older Workers," Journal of Public Economics, 1997, v64(1,Apr), 1-23.|
|Note:||AG HC LS PE|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Parsons, Donald O, 1980. "The Decline in Male Labor Force Participation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 117-34, February.
- Haveman, Robert H & Wolfe, Barbara L, 1984. "The Decline in Male Labor Force Participation: Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 532-41, June.
- David A. Wise & Robin L. Lumsdaine, 1990.
"Aging and Labor Force Participation: A Review of Trends and Explanations,"
NBER Working Papers
3420, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robin L. Lumsdaine & David A. Wise, 1994. "Aging and Labor Force Participation: A Review of Trends and Explanations," NBER Chapters, in: Aging in the United States and Japan: Economic Trends, pages 7-42 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John Bound & Timothy Waidmann, 1992. "Disability Transfers, Self-Reported Health, and the Labor Force Attachment of Older Men: Evidence from the Historical Record," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1393-1419.
- Rebecca M. Blank & David E. Card, 1991.
"Recent Trends in Insured and Uninsured Unemployment: Is There an Explanation?,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1157-1189.
- Rebecca M. Blank & David Card, 1989. "Recent Trends in Insured and Uninsured Unemployment: Is There an Explanation?," NBER Working Papers 2871, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Diamond, P. A. & Mirrlees, J. A., 1978.
"A model of social insurance with variable retirement,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 295-336, December.
- P. A. Diamond & J. A. Mirrlees, 1977. "A Model of Social Insurance With Variable Retirement," Working papers 210, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Janice Halpern & Jerry A. Hausman, 1985.
"Choice Under Uncertainty: A Model of Applications for the Social Security Disability Insurance Program,"
NBER Working Papers
1690, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Halpern, Janice & Hausman, Jerry A., 1986. "Choice under uncertainty: A model of applications for the social security disability insurance program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 131-161, November.
- Kathryn H. Anderson & Richard V. Burkhauser, 1985. "The Retirement-Health Nexus: A New Measure of an Old Puzzle," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(3), pages 315-330.
- Parsons, Donald O, 1982. "The Male Labour Force Participation Decision: Health, Reported Health, and Economic Incentives," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 49(193), pages 81-91, February.
- Diamond, Peter & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1995.
"Economic aspects of optimal disability benefits,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 1-23, May.
- Rebecca M. Blank & Patricia Ruggles, 1993. "When Do Women Use AFDC & Food Stamps? The Dynamics of Eligibility vs. Participation," NBER Working Papers 4429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jonathan S. Leonard, 1979. "The Social Security Disability Program and Labor Force Participation," NBER Working Papers 0392, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jerry A. Hausman & David A. Wise, 1985. "Social Security, Health Status, and Retirement," NBER Chapters, in: Pensions, Labor, and Individual Choice, pages 159-192 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Parsons, Donald O, 1991. "Self-Screening in Targeted Public Transfer Programs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 859-76, August.
- Howard P. Marvel, 1982. "An Economic Analysis of the Operation of Social Security Disability Insurance," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(3), pages 393-412.
- Butler, J S, et al, 1987. "Measurement Error in Self-reported Health Variables," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(4), pages 644-50, November.
- Jonathan S. Leonard, 1985. "Labor Supply Incentives and Disincentives for the Disabled," NBER Working Papers 1744, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Moffitt, Robert, 1983. "An Economic Model of Welfare Stigma," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1023-35, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4941. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.