Disability Benefits Around the World

In a series of papers, Coile, Milligan and Wise look at Social Security Programs and Retirement Around the World. In the sixth installment of the series, the authors look specifically at disability programs. Although stereotypically one would believe that most people exit the workforce due to choice and rely on Social Security, job pensions, and…

Are you really disabled?

When the government extends benefits to individuals with specific characteristics (e.g., poverty, disability), the number of people who claim to have these characteristics will necessarily increase.  For instance, there are reports that unemployed individuals who no longer qualify for welfare are now moving onto the disability rolls in large numbers.  Are these people really disabled? A recent study  by Gosling…

Cash and Counselling

Many economists claim that insurance that gives  sick people cash to pay for their medical treatments is more efficient than insurance that provides in-kind medical services directly.  Although providing in-kind services is more likely to decrease the number of false claimants than insurance that provides cash, cash benefits allow beneficiaries to control how they spend…

Why have disability rates decreased?

“Although the evidence was mixed for the 1980s and it is difficult to pinpoint when in the 1990s the decline began, during the mid- and late 1990s, the panel found consistent declines on the order of  0-2.5% per year for two commonly used measures in the disability literature: difficulty with daily activities and help with…

Too fat to work

The incapacity benefit system in the UK is intended to provide an income support for those unable to work.  Like any government program, many of the beneficiaries are in dire need of the money and are truly unable to work, but many other individuals who are able–but not inclined–to work have taken advantage of government…