WI22-01: The Effect of Childhood Public Policies on Adult Work Disability



This study estimates the impact of childhood exposure to three welfare-enhancing policies –Medicaid, Food Stamps, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) –on work disability in adulthood. Work disability is richly characterized by duration and severity, with more chronic and severe conditions identifying individuals at a higher risk of applying to and claiming Disability Insurance (DI). We leverage the initial rollout of these policies in the 1960s and 1970s for exogenous variation in exposure. Using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, work disability in adulthood is observed duringthe 1980s –2019 when individuals are between 30 and 60 years old. In contrast to our initial hypotheses, our study results suggest that exposure to these three policies in childhood does not impact the probability of acquiring a work disability later in life.


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WI22-01: The Effect of Public Policies on Work Disability

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