Panel Paper: Characteristics and Employment of Applicants for Social Security Disability Insurance Over the Business Cycle

Thursday, November 7, 2013 : 3:40 PM
Westview (Ritz Carlton)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Stephan Lindner, Urban Institute and Clark Burdick, Social Security Administration
This study investigates the relationship between fluctuations in the
  short-term unemployment rate and characteristics of applicants for
  Social Security Disability Insurance. Using administrative records
  of the universe of applicants between 1991 and 2008, we find that
  applications denied because of lack of a severe health impairment or
  because of a claimant's ability to perform past work rise during
  recessions, which suggests that more healthy people apply during
  recessions. However, people who apply during economic downturns have
  lower income and assets at the time of application and lower
  earnings several years after application. Further decomposition
  results reveal that difficult macroeconomic conditions during the
  time of application account for the negative relationship between
  the unemployment rate and post-application earnings.

Full Paper: