Public Economics Seminar

IFS/STICERD Seminar - "Who is screened out? Application costs and the targeting of disability programs" - Manasi Deshpande (University of Chicago)

| 12:30 - 13:45
Location: Institute for Fiscal Studies -

7 Ridgmount Street, London WC1E 7AE



We study the effect of application costs on the targeting of disability programs using the closings of Social Security Administration field offices, which provide assistance with filing disability applications. We find that field office closings lead to large and persistent reductions in the number of disability recipients and reduce targeting efficiency based on current eligibility standards. The number of disability recipients declines by 13% in surrounding areas, with the largest effects for applicants with moderately severe conditions and low education levels. Evidence on channels suggests that increased congestion at neighboring offices is more important than higher travel or information costs.

Link to paper