NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Audrey Guo

Department of Economics
Stanford University
579 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

December 2016To Work for Yourself, for Others, or Not At All? How Disability Benefits Affect the Employment Decisions of Older Veterans
with Courtney Coile, Mark Duggan: w23006
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Compensation (DC) program provides disability benefits to nearly one in five military veterans in the US and its annual expenditures exceed $60 billion. We examine how the receipt of DC benefits affects the employment decisions of older veterans. We make use of variation in program eligibility resulting from a 2001 policy change that increased access to the program for Vietnam veterans who served with “boots on the ground” in the Vietnam theater but not for other veterans of that same era. We find that the policy-induced increase in program enrollment decreased labor force participation and induced a substantially larger switch from wage employment to self-employment. This latter finding suggests that an exogenous increase in income sp...
February 2015Veterans’ Labor Force Participation: What Role Does the VA’s Disability Compensation Program Play?
with Courtney Coile, Mark Duggan: w20932
We explore trends over time in the labor force participation of veterans and non-veterans and investigate whether these patterns are consistent with a rising role for the Veterans’ Affairs Disability Compensation (DC) program, which pays benefits to veterans with service-connected disabilities and has grown rapidly since 2000. Using 35 years of March CPS data, we find that veterans’ labor force participation declined over time in a way that coincides closely with DC growth and that veterans have become more sensitive to economic shocks. Our findings suggest that DC program growth has contributed to recent declines in veterans’ labor force participation.

Published: Courtney Coile & Mark Duggan & Audrey Guo, 2015. "Veterans' Labor Force Participation: What Role Does the VA's Disability Compensation Program Play?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 131-36, May. citation courtesy of

 
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