7. DISABILITY PROGRAMS, HEALTH STATUS, AND WORK AT OLDER AGES AROUND THE WORLD Through the coordination of work by a team of analysts in twelve countries, we will use the vast differences in disability insurance (Dl) programs across the countries as a natural laboratory to study the effects of Dl program provisions on the labor force participation of older workers.
Our aim i s to differentiate between labor force withdrawal that is motivated by health status (i.e., disability) and labor force withdrawal that is motivated by disability program provisions. In order to disentangle the influence of health status and program incentives on work behavior, an important step is developing summary measures of health that are comparable across countries. To help in this task we are preparing, through the data core, a harmonized data file with details of the large number of health indicators in the HRS-ELSA-SHARE-JSTAR-CLSA surveys. We can then estimate, given health status, the extent to which differences in the relationship between health and workforce participation across countries are related to the provisions of disability insurance programs. We will also assess the limitations that health places on work at older ages more generally;as well as the relationships between "self-reported wellbeing," receipt of disability benefits, and labor force participation. By highlighting the special role that Dl programs play in determining labor force participation at older ages and by showing how changes in the programs could affect participation, we believe the results of this project will substantially increase our understanding of the labor force implications of these programs , and can have an important effect on policy reforms in the coming years.

Public Health Relevance

Population aging has placed enormous pressure on the financial viability of social security systems.Disability programs often compound the labor force and fiscal implications these programs. This project will enhance our understanding of the role of disability insurance as a pathway to retirement, and the potentially large effects that changes could have on the labor force participation of older workers.

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