Skip to main content


Log in

First Exits from the Swedish Labor Market Due to Disability

  • Published:
Population Research and Policy Review Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Nowadays, with an increasingly aging population, an increasing proportion of the population on disability benefits, and an implicitly lower level of economic output and foregone tax revenue, disability has become a major public policy issue in many countries. Estimating both single risk and competing risks models on a Swedish longitudinal database, this study analyzes the risk of exit from the labor market due to disability at a certain age, conditional on having remained in the labor force until that age. The explanatory variables did not have identical coefficients across destination types. For example, the estimated single risk model shows that a higher level of education decreased the hazard of exiting the labor market with a disability pension, while the estimated competing risks model suggests that a higher level of education increased the hazard of exiting with a partial disability pension, but it decreased the hazard of exiting with a full disability pension.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. There have been few studies on disability exits from the labor market in Sweden (e.g., Berglind 1977; Hedström 1980; Hansson-Brusewitz 1992; Månsson et al. 1994, 1996; Wadensjö and Palmer 1996; Palme and Svensson 1997). Summarizing their findings, it seems that there were three groups of independent variables that influenced the exit into disability: demographic variables, labor market variables, and health variables.

  2. In November 2005, 1 EURO ≈ 9,5 Kronor and 1 USD ≈ 8 kronor.

  3. Since January 2003, the terms disability pension and temporary disability pension were replaced by activity compensation for people between the ages of 19–29 and sickness compensation for those aged between 30–64.

  4. See Andrén (2001) for a detailed description of these models.

  5. The head office of The Swedish Social Insurance Agency (since January 2005).

  6. See Andrén (2001) for a detailed description of the LS-database.


  • Andrén, D. (2001). Work, sickness, earnings, and early exits from the labor market: An empirical analysis using Swedish longitudinal data. Economic Studies 107. Doctoral thesis. Göteborg University.

  • Berglind, H. (1977). Förtidspension eller arbete? En studie av utveckling och regionala variationer. [Disability pension or employment? A study over time and regional variations.] In Förtidspensionering. Två forskningsrapporter. [The disability pension. Two research reports]. SOU 1977: 88.

  • Bound, J., & Burkhauser, R. V. (1999). Economic analysis of transfer programs targeted on people with disabilities. In O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (Eds.), Handbook of labor economics (Vol. 3c, pp. 3417–3528). Amsterdam: Elsevier Science.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hansson-Brusewitz, U. (1992). Labour supply of elderly men. Do taxes and pension systems matter? Doctoral thesis. Uppsala University.

  • Haveman, R. H., & Wolfe, B. L. (2000). The economics of disability and disability policy. In A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (Eds.), Handbook of health economics (Vol. 1b, pp. 996–1051). Elsevier.

  • Hedström, P. (1980). Förtidspension—välfärd eller ofärd?: en studie baserad på 1968 and 1974 års levnadsnivåundersökningar. [Disability pension—Welfare or misfortune?: A study based on the level of living investigations of 1968 and 1974). Research report. Swedish Institute for Social Research.

  • Lancaster, T. (1990). The econometric analysis of transition data. New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Månsson, N.-O., Eriksson, K.-F., Israelsson, B., Ranstam, J., Melander, A., & Råstam, L. (1996). Body mass index and disability pension in middle-aged men: Non-linear relations. International Journal of Epidemiology, 25, 80–85.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Månsson, N.-O., Råstam, L., Eriksson, K.-F., Israelsson, B., & Melander, A. (1994). Incidence of and reasons for disability pension in a Swedish cohort of middle-aged men. European Journal of Public Health, 4, 22–6.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Palme, M., & Svensson, I. (1997). Social security, occupational pensions, and retirement in Sweden. NBER Working paper No. 6137.

  • Riksrevisionen (2005). Förtidspension utan återvändo. Disability pension—no going back (RiR 2005:14), Riksdagstryckeriet, Stockholm 2005.

  • Wadensjö, E., & Palmer, E. (1996). Curing the Dutch disease from a Swedish perspective. In L. J. M. Aarts, R. V. Burkhauser & P. R. de Jong (Eds.), Curing the Dutch disease (Vol. 1). Avebury: International Studies on Social Security.

  • World Health Organization [WHO] (1980). International classification of impairments, disabilities, and handicaps: A manual of classification relating to the consequences of disease. Geneva: World Health Organization.

  • World Health Organization [WHO] (2001). International classification of functioning, disability and health (ICF). Geneva: World Health Organization.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Daniela Andrén.



A1 The definition of disability
Table A1 Sample means for basic variables,* by type of exit, IP and LSIP samples

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Andrén, D. First Exits from the Swedish Labor Market Due to Disability. Popul Res Policy Rev 27, 227–238 (2008).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: