Hamish Low, Luigi Pistaferri, 08 April 2020

Disability insurance programmes provide income replacement and medical benefits to workers who face major health shocks impeding their ability to work. The screening error of incorrect acceptance – where individuals who are not disabled are awarded benefits – and moral hazard have been well researched, but scant attention has been paid to incorrect rejection. Using US data, this column shows that the probability of being rejected when disabled varies with a host of observable characteristics. Most strikingly, truly disabled women are 20 percentage points more likely to be incorrectly rejected than observationally equivalent men.

Radim Bohacek, Jesus Bueren, Laura Crespo, Pedro Mira, Josep Pijoan-Mas, 06 December 2018

Comparing cross-country similarities and differences can be useful to understand the origins of health inequality, but is hampered by a lack of harmonised and comparable data. This column brings together panel data from ten countries in continental Europe, England, and the US to compare inequalities in total life expectancy, disability-free life expectancy, and years spent in disability across education levels and gender. Among the findings are that ‘women get sicker but men die quicker’ is to a large extent a low-education phenomenon.

Sandra Black, Sanni Breining, David Figlio, Jonathan Guryan, Krzysztof Karbownik, Helena Skyt Nielsen, Jeffrey Roth, Marianne Simonsen, 08 July 2017

Despite the policy importance of understanding the relationships between them, very little evidence exists on the causal effects siblings have on one another. This column investigates outcomes for families in which the third-born child has a disability, and shows that the oldest children have better educational outcomes than the middle children, who due to birth order are more likely to be more affected by a common sibling spillover. We may be able to measure greater returns to investments that relieve the effects of negative shocks to children if we consider the effects on siblings too.

Sandra Black, Jason Furman, Emma Rackstraw, Nirupama Rao, 06 July 2016

Labour force participation among men ages 25-54 in the US has been falling for more than six decades. This column examines this longstanding decline, its potential causes, and its implications for public policy and the future of the US labour market.

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