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Towards an Economics of Disability: The Magnitude and Structure of Transfer and Medical Costs

Monroe Berkowitz and William G. Johnson
The Journal of Human Resources
Vol. 5, No. 3 (Summer, 1970), pp. 271-297
DOI: 10.2307/144606
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/144606
Page Count: 27
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Towards an Economics of Disability: The Magnitude and Structure of Transfer and Medical Costs
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Abstract

This paper attempts to provide a conceptual and statistical basis for future research into the problem of disability and its economic costs. The concept of a "workmen's disability income system" is introduced as a means of defining the boundaries of the problem. The rationale for the existence of many different transfer payment programs is analyzed. Aggregate transfer payments for disability to those of labor force age amounted to approximately $14 billion in 1967; medical costs totalled more than $20 billion, and survivor payments were crudely estimated to be nearly $3 billion. These estimates are used to derive a first approximation of economic losses of nearly $43 billion in 1967.

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