WI19-01: Economic Opportunity and Spatial Variation in Labor Force Participation, Self-Reported Disability Status and Demand for SSI/SSDI



Individual self-assessed disability status and demand for disability assistance varies widely across U.S. localities. This is driven by both variation in population health as well as local labor market characteristics such as the unemployment rate or industry mix. This project aims to expand our understanding of how local economic context shapes disability by exploiting newly available estimates of intergenerational economic mobility levels across U.S. localities. In this project, we ask: Do areas characterized by high levels of economic mobility—and therefore greater economic opportunity—have lower levels of self-reported disability? How does the distribution of disabling health conditions differ between low and high opportunity localities? In answering these questions, this project will provide important new insights in to how the structure of local economic areas influences the social and spatial patterning of disability.


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