Transition and Duration in Disability: New Evidence from Administrative Data

Authors: Guillem López-Casasnovas and Catia Nicodemo

Disability and health journal, Vol. 9, No 1, 26-36, February, 2016

In recent decades demographic changes (low fertility rates, increased life expectancy…) in most OECD countries, have brought profound changes in the population pyramid, with several effects in the welfare of society. One of them is the increase in the number of people with disabilities, since age is a determining factor in the emergence of this dependency. OBJECTIVE/HYPOTHESIS: This paper studies the probability to enter and transit in and from a disability state, as well as its associated mortality, by attending to the distinction between the initial disability level and the process that leads on from it, and by addressing whether and how education, age and income affect this transition. METHODS: Applying a Markov model and a survival analysis to new Spanish administrative data set (Muestra Continua de Vida Laboral (MCVL)) we estimate the probability that a person changes the state of disability and the duration of her progression in each case. RESULTS: We find that people with an initial state of disability have a higher propensity to change status and take less time to transit amongst different stages than those who have no disability. Men do so more frequently than women and income have negative effects on the transition. CONCLUSIONS: These results may help to incorporate into welfare programs some protection mechanisms for delaying transitions and target the most fragile population groups.

This paper originally appeared as Barcelona GSE Working Paper 643