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12:00 - 13:45 19 November 2012

Unemployment and Disability: Evidence from the Great Recession


IFS Seminar Room | Institute for Fiscal Studies (link Map)
7 Ridgmount Street | London | WC1E 7AE |

Open to: Academic | Student
Ticketing: Open

Speaker information

Ellen Meara, The Dartmouth Institute

It is well known that disability insurance (DI) enrollment is countercyclical. But less is known about why DI is countercyclical. Understanding this point is crucial given the rapid rise in DI caseloads in recent decades combined with the widely publicized forecast that the Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund will be exhausted by 2016. However, no systematic evidence describes how or why caseloads have changed during the Great Recession. In this paper, we compare DI applications and awards during the great recession to other recent recessions. We find that changes in the caseload from 2007 to 2010 are not unique compared with other recessions. We then use individual data on older U.S. workers from the Health and Retirement Study to analyze two hypotheses for why DI applications rise during recessions.


Institute for Fiscal Studies
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