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dc.contributor.authorGawai, Vikas
dc.date.accessioned2024-04-05T15:58:50Z
dc.date.available2024-04-05T15:58:50Z
dc.date.issued2022
dc.identifier.citationGawai, Vikas. 2022. "Does Broadband Technology Affect Social Security Applications?" JSIT Awards. Retirement & Disability Research Center. https://rdrc.wisc.edu/project/jsit22-04en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://digital.library.wisc.edu/1793/85138
dc.descriptionThis study uses a difference-in-difference (DID) estimator to evaluate the probability of older adults (age 50+) applying for SSI and SSDI based on the timing of broadband rollout during the COVID-19 pandemic, when physical offices were closed.en_US
dc.description.abstractPolicymakers have recently been paying enormous attention to broadband connectivity in the US, with about $65 billion allocated for high-speed internet across states. However, over 42 million Americans still lack internet connectivity, and a “digital divide” exists mainly in rural areas and low socioeconomic households. It is unclear whether broadband technologies affect an individual's likelihood of applying for Social Security Insurance (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This paper evaluates whether better availability of broadband services affects the probability of applying for SSI and SSDI among the most vulnerable age group, i.e., older adults aged 50+. I leverage the quasi-experimental staggered rollout of high-speed broadband, combined with restricted individual panel data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), and exploit both spatial and temporal and individual-level variations in broadband availability. Employing the latest difference-in-differences (DID) estimator, I found broadband rollout statistically significantly increased the probability of applying for SSI and SSDI over time (dynamic treatment effect); however, there was a small and insignificant positive increase in the likelihood of applications as the average treatment effects (ATE). A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that broadband expansion added over 2,500 applicants for the SSI benefits 2018. The estimates from this paper highlight the unmeasured benefits of the broadband expansion and have important policy implications on policies related to SSI and SSDI and broadband availability.en_US
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.relation.hasparthttps://rdrc.wisc.edu/files/research-briefs/JSIT22-04_Research-Brief_Gawai_Jan24-(1).pdfen_US
dc.subjectbroadbanden_US
dc.subjectSSIen_US
dc.subjectSSDIen_US
dc.subjectH55en_US
dc.subjectJ14en_US
dc.subjectL86en_US
dc.titleJSIT22-04: Does Broadband Technology Affect Social Security Applications?: Evidence during the Closure of Social Security Field Officesen_US


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