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DPE Tuesday Talk Series: Philip Armour, “Stuck without a Job: How Housing Policies, Labor Markets, and Declining Mobility Contribute to Long-Term Disability”

The Division of Politics and Economics invites the CGU community to attend this week’s Tuesday Lunch Talk featuring Philip Armour, Rand Corporation. Lunch will be provided.

Philip Armour is an economist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His primary research interests are in disability, retirement, trends in income inequality, public program and tax design, and the intersections of behavioral economics with public policy. At RAND, he has worked at the intersection of labor market outcomes and health conditions across a range of settings, from DoD and VA programs to disability discrimination laws to Workers’ Compensation and other civilian disability programs.

Philip Armour
Philip Armour

Armour’s work has employed techniques ranging from laboratory and field experiments to reduced form policy analysis to structural econometric methods. For his dissertation, he explored the effect of the Social Security statement’s introduction on disability insurance application behavior as well as the labor supply of workers approaching retirement. He also has worked as a summer associate for the Congressional Budget Office, a research associate for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and a research assistant for a European Commission research agenda on social entrepreneurship in the EU.

Talk title: Stuck without a Job: How Housing Policies, Labor Markets, and Declining Mobility Contribute to Long-Term Disability

Talk Description:
Starting in the early 1980s, rates of internal migration – Americans moving within the country – have declined dramatically, yet unevenly. Prior research has examined the impact of these changes in mobility on wages in local labor markets; however, the US has also experienced a substantial but heterogeneous rise in long-term disability over this time period, and as-of-yet unexamined factors in this increase are rising impediments to relocate. This paper estimates the impact of changing internal migration rates on Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income applications and awards to explain both temporal and geographic variation in disability program participation. We identify the role of migration by leveraging local changes to housing policy and differential labor market shocks within Commuter Zones, providing insight as to how barriers to migration have contributed to rising and geographically varied long-term disability.

More information about the DPE Tuesday Talk Series can be found here.