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Who Goes on Disability when Times are Tough? The Role of Work Norms among Immigrants

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  • Furtado, Delia
  • Papps, Kerry L.
  • Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos

Abstract

We examine how work norms affect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) take-up rates in response to worsening economic conditions. By focusing on immigrants in the US, we can consider the influence of work norms in a person’s home country, which we argue are exogenous to labor market prospects in the US. We find that the probability of receiving SSDI is more sensitive to economic downturns among immigrants from countries where people place less importance on work. We also provide evidence that this result is not driven by differential sensitivities to the business cycle or differences in SSDI eligibility.

Suggested Citation

  • Furtado, Delia & Papps, Kerry L. & Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos, 2020. "Who Goes on Disability when Times are Tough? The Role of Work Norms among Immigrants," GLO Discussion Paper Series 590, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:590
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Disability Insurance; Immigrants; Social Norms; Unemployment Rates;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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