Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 61, No. 2

(released April 1998)
by Janice M. Dykacz

Beneficiaries in the DI program may experience a recovery termination. What factors affect their reentitlement to DI benefits? Data from the New Beneficiary Followup was used to model return to the DI program. Those former beneficiaries who had vocational or job training and paid work after the recovery termination showed a lesser tendency to return to the DI program. Younger individuals and those in the highest primary insurance amount quartile also showed a lesser tendency to return.

by Kelvin R. Utendorf

In this article, the author uses large, Social Security administrative data sets to examine changes in earnings distributions in the United States over the 1980s and early 1990s. Because the earnings information contained in these data sets comes directly from the W-2 forms filed by employers, self-reporting errors and top-coding problems, common in other data used for this type of analysis, are minimized. Previous research has documented an increase in overall earnings inequality during the 1970s and the 1980s. While the author also observes that overall earnings inequality generally increased during the early to mid-1980s, his analysis finds that this upward trend in earnings inequality might have slowed, or reversed, during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The data suggest that within-group inequality for various race and/or gender subgroups of the population generally increased over the period examined, confirming the results of others and extending those findings into the early 1990s. Finally, the author finds that female earnings increased relative to male earnings over the entire period, while the earnings of Black males declined relative to the earnings of the other groups examined.