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Act Now: The Effects of the 2008 Spanish Disability Reform

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  • Matthew J. Hill
  • Jose Silva

    ()

  • Judit Vall

Abstract

We evaluate the effects of a reduction in the generosity of the Spanish disability system (DI) implemented in 2008. The reform reduced the benefits for individuals that have a short contributory history relative to their age, theoretically discouraging potential applicants to disability. However, due to the method used to calculate the extent of lost benefits, the reform actually introduced an incentive for individuals to apply for disability now. We use a life-cycle model with heterogeneous disabled workers to understand the potential impact of the reform and confirm the predictions of the model empirically. Our estimates show that the reform increased the probability of applying to DI by 33% for men. Consistent with the theoretical model, the effect is much stronger for individuals that lost their job in the previous period (83%).

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew J. Hill & Jose Silva & Judit Vall, 2015. "Act Now: The Effects of the 2008 Spanish Disability Reform," Studies in Economics 1512, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  • Handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:1512
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Philip de Jong & Maarten Lindeboom & Bas van der Klaauw, 2011. "Screening Disability Insurance Applications," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 106-129, February.
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    5. Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Disability Insurance Benefits and Labor Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1162-1183, December.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
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    10. David H. Autor, 2015. "The unsustainable rise of the disability rolls in the United States: causes, consequences and policy options," Chapters,in: Social Policies in an Age of Austerity, chapter 5, pages 107-136 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Jan-Maarten van Sonsbeek & Raymond H. J. M. Gradus, 2013. "Estimating the effects of recent disability reforms in the Netherlands," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(4), pages 832-855, October.
    12. 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.
    13. Karlström, Anders & Palme, Mårten & Svensson, Ingemar, 2008. "The employment effect of stricter rules for eligibility for DI: Evidence from a natural experiment in Sweden," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 2071-2082, October.
    14. Staubli, Stefan, 2011. "The impact of stricter criteria for disability insurance on labor force participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9-10), pages 1223-1235, October.
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    16. Nicole Maestas & Kathleen J. Mullen & Alexander Strand, 2015. "Disability Insurance and the Great Recession," Working Papers 1088, RAND Corporation.
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    Cited by:

    1. René Böheim & Thomas Leoni, 2016. "Disability policies: Reform strategies in a comparative perspective," NBER Working Papers 22206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    disability benefits; life-cycle model; policy evaluation;

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health

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