Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Economics

Content Description

1 online resource (vi, 143 pages) : color illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Pinka Chatterji

Committee Members

Yue Li, Kajal Lahiri


Disability, Employment, Public Assistance Program, Chronic pain, Disabilities, People with disabilities, Disability insurance claimants, Disability retirement, Medicaid, Supplemental security income program

Subject Categories



This dissertation explores the relationship between disability, public assistance programs and employment. The first chapter investigates the impact of chronic pain on the labor market participation decisions of people nearing retirement age. The results from estimating a random effect discrete-time hazard model suggest that chronic pain greatly enlarges the hazard of exiting labor market even after controlling for many diseases that contribute to pain, and this effect increases with the severity of pain level. I further estimate a discrete-time competing risks model to explore the association between chronic pain and labor market exits due to different reasons. The finding indicates that chronic pain plays a more important role in the labor market exit decisions of those who are disabled, rather than those who retire normally, implying that chronic pain is a good measure of health-related work capacity.

Included in

Economics Commons