The effect of disability insurance receipt on mortality

Bernard Black, Eric French*, Jeremy McCauley, Jae Song

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper estimates the effect of Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income receipt on mortality for individuals on the margin of being allowed versus denied benefits. Exploiting the random assignment of administrative law judges to disability insurance cases, we find that benefit allowance increases 10-year mortality rates by 2.8 percentage points for marginal beneficiaries. However, using a Marginal Treatment Effects approach, we find evidence that benefit receipt reduces mortality for inframarginal beneficiaries, who are typically less healthy than marginal beneficiaries. Furthermore, we find suggestive evidence that allowance reduces mortality among those with expensive health conditions such as cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105033
JournalJournal of Public Economics
StatePublished - Jan 2024


  • Benefits
  • Disability
  • Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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