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Disability benefit growth and disability reform in the US: lessons from other OECD nations

R. V. Burkhauser, M. C. Daly, D. McVicar, R. Wilkins,

Academic Literature


Unsustainable growth in program costs and beneficiaries, together with a growing recognition that even people with severe impairments can work, led to fundamental disability policy reforms in the Netherlands, Sweden, and Great Britain. In Australia, rapid growth in disability recipiency led to more modest reforms. Here we describe the factors driving unsustainable DI program growth in the U.S., show their similarity to the factors that led to unsustainable growth in these other four OECD countries, and discuss the reforms each country implemented to regain control over their cash transfer disability program. Although each country took a unique path to making and implementing fundamental reforms, shared lessons emerge from their experiences. JEL codes: J14, J18 © 2014, Burkhauser et al.; licensee Springer.

Publication information

Journal/Publication : IZA Journal of Labor Policy

Domain/s: Economic participation, Sector development and sustainability

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