Early Determinants of Work Disability in an International Perspective

32 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2018

See all articles by Axel H. Börsch-Supan

Axel H. Börsch-Supan

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA)

Tabea Bucher-Koenen

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research; Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA)

Felizia Hanemann

Technische Universität München (TUM)

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Date Written: October 2018

Abstract

This paper studies the interrelated roles of health and welfare state policies in the decision to take up disability insurance (DI) benefits due to work disability (WD), defined as the (partial) inability to engage in gainful employment due to physical or mental illness. We exploit the large international variation of health, self-reported WD and the uptake of DI benefits in the US and Europe using a harmonized data set with life history information assembled from the Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), the English Longitudinal Study on Ageing (ELSA) and the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Particular attention is given to the role of life-time health and other life-time experiences in explaining WD and DI uptake later in life. We find that while our large set of health measures explains a substantial share of the within-country variation in WD and DI, this is not the case for the variation across countries. Rather, most of the variation between countries is explained by differences in DI policies.

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Suggested Citation

Börsch-Supan, Axel H. and Bucher-Koenen, Tabea and Hanemann, Felizia, Early Determinants of Work Disability in an International Perspective (October 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w25142. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3270714

Axel H. Börsch-Supan (Contact Author)

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) ( email )

Amalienstrasse 33
Munich, 80799
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.mea.mpisoc.mpg.de

Tabea Bucher-Koenen

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) ( email )

Amalienstrasse 33
Munich, 80799
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://mea.mpisoc.mpg.de/

Felizia Hanemann

Technische Universität München (TUM) ( email )

Arcisstrasse 21
Munich, 80333
Germany

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