Mar 13, 2013

Witness List For House Social Security Subcommittee Hearing

     The witness list for Thursday's House Social Security Subcommittee hearing has been released. Only two witnesses are scheduled: Stephen Goss, Social Security's Chief Actuary and Joyce M. Manchester, Ph.D., Chief, Long-Term Analysis Unit, Health, Retirement, and Long-Term Analysis Division Congressional Budget Office. 
     Goss is on record saying that the shortfall in the Social Security Disability Trust Fund is temporary and can be resolved by transferring money from the Retirement Trust Fund.
     Here is a summary of a research paper by Manchester and others:
We use administrative longitudinal data on earnings, impairment, and mortality to replicate and extend Bound's seminal study of rejected applicants to federal Disability Insurance (DI). We confirm Bound's main result that rejected older male applicants do not exhibit substantial labor force participation. We show this result is stable over time, robust to more narrow control groups, and similar within gender, impairment, industry, and earnings groups. However, we also find that younger rejected applicants have substantial employment after application. To what extent this translates into potential employment for new beneficiaries depends on which group among them is considered "on the margin" of receiving DI. If we use initially rejected applicants -- a large and growing fraction of new beneficiaries -- the resulting counterfactual employment rate for younger applicants is low, too. We also find that rejected applicants bear signs of economically induced applicants. DI appears to induce a growing number of less successful workers to apply, an important fraction of which ends up without benefits and non-employed.

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