Who Goes on Disability When Times are Tough? The Role of Social Costs of Take-Up Among Immigrants

50 Pages Posted: 21 May 2019

See all articles by Delia Furtado

Delia Furtado

University of Connecticut - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Kerry L. Papps

Cornell University; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Nikolaos Theodoropoulos

University of Cyprus

Abstract

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) take-up tends to increase during recessions. We exploit variation across immigrant groups in the non-pecuniary costs of participating in SSDI to examine the role that costs play in applicant decisions across the business cycle. We show that immigrants from country-of-origin groups that have lower participation costs are more sensitive to economic conditions than immigrants from high cost groups. These results do not seem to be driven by variation across groups in sensitivity to business cycles or eligibility for SSDI. Instead, they appear to be primarily driven by differences in work norms across origin countries.

Keywords: disability insurance, immigrants, unemployment rates, ethnic networks

JEL Classification: E32, J61, H55, I18

Suggested Citation

Furtado, Delia and Papps, Kerry L. and Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos, Who Goes on Disability When Times are Tough? The Role of Social Costs of Take-Up Among Immigrants. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12097. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3390085

Delia Furtado (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut - Department of Economics ( email )

365 Fairfield Way, U-1063
Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Kerry L. Papps

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Nikolaos Theodoropoulos

University of Cyprus ( email )

CY-1678 Nicosia
Nicosia, Nicosia P.O. Box 2
Cyprus

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