Empirical Economics

, Volume 56, Issue 5, pp 1623–1645 | Cite as

Great Recession and disability insurance in Spain

  • Sergi Jiménez-Martín
  • Arnau Juanmarti MestresEmail author
  • Judit Vall Castelló


In this paper, we explore the relationship between economic conditions and disability insurance (DI) participation in Spain during the Great Recession. Using individual-level longitudinal data, we show that DI awards are procyclical, contrary to the countercyclical behavior found in most of the previous literature. We show that DI applications are not responsive to the business cycle and that economic conditions have no effect on the composition of new DI awardees, suggesting that DI participation in Spain is not driven by partially disabled individuals resorting to the DI program as a result of bad labor market conditions. Furthermore, we argue that the procyclical behavior of DI awards may be driven by an informal increase in screening stringency and by an improvement in the health status of the population as a result of worse economic conditions.


Disability insurance Business cycle Great Recession Procyclical health 

JEL Classification

H55 I10 J14 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergi Jiménez-Martín
    • 1
  • Arnau Juanmarti Mestres
    • 2
    Email author
  • Judit Vall Castelló
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Economics and BusinessUniversitat Pompeu FabraBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Center for Research in Health and EconomicsUniversitat Pompeu FabraBarcelonaSpain

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