NBER Working Papers by Richard Disney

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

Working Papers

October 2012Reform of Ill-health Retirement Benefits for Police in England and Wales: The roles of National Policy and Local Finance
with Rowena Crawford: w18479
We examine the ill-health retirement of police officers in the forces of England and Wales between 2002-03 and 2009-10. Differences in ill-health retirement rates across forces are statistically related to area-specific stresses of policing and force-specific differences in human resources policies. Reforms to police pension plans - in particular a shift in the incidence of financing ill-health retirement from central government to local police authorities - occurred in the mid-2000s. We show these measures impacted on the level of ill-health retirement, especially on forces with above-average rates of retirement. We find that residual differences in post-2006 ill-health retirement rates across forces are related to their differential capacities to raise revenue from local property taxes.

Published: Reform of Police Pensions in England and Wales, Rowena Crawford, Richard Disney. in Retirement Benefits for State and Local Employees: Designing Pension Plans for the Twenty-First Century, Clark, Rauh, and Duggan. 2014

March 2003Pension Reform and Economic Performance in Britain in the 1980s and 1990s
with Carl Emmerson, Sarah Smith: w9556
The late 1980s saw a major shift in pension provision in the United Kingdom, when for the first time individuals were permitted to opt out of part of the social security program into individual retirement saving accounts (Personal Pensions). At the same time, membership of company-provided pension plans (occupational schemes) was made voluntary. The paper explores the possible impact of these, and other related changes in social security in the 1980s and 1990s in the UK, on household saving rates, on current and future public finances, on retirement, and on the job mobility of individuals covered by company pension plans.


May 1994British Unions in Decline: An Examination of the 1980s Fall in Trade Union Recognition
with Amanda Gosling, Stephen Machin: w4733
The authors analyze establishment-level data from the three Workplace Industrial Relations Surveys of 1980, 1984 and 1990 to document and explain the sharp decline in unionization that occurred in Britain over the 1980s. Between 1980 and 1990 the proportion of British establishments which recognised manual or non-manual trade unions for collective bargaining over pay and conditions fell by almost 20 percent (from 0.67 to 0.54). The evidence reported demonstrates the importance of the interaction between the labour market, the product market, employer behaviour and the legislative framework in determining union recognition status in new establishments. The sharp fall in trade union recognition appears to be largely driven by a failure to achieve recognition status in establishments set u...


  • Published as "British Unions in Decline: Determinants of the 1980's Fallin Union Recognition", Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 48, no. 3 (1995): 403-419. Published as "What Has Happened to Union Recognition in Britain?",
  • Economica, Vol. 63, no. 249 (February 1996): 1-18.

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us