"We estimate racial differences in the Social Security Administration's (SSA) decision to award federal disability benefits using newly available data, multivariate econometric models, and Oaxaca decomposition methods. We focus on the appellate level of SSA's disability decision-making process. We find that for claimants represented by attorneys""there is no statistically significant difference in benefit award rates between whites and African-Americans. However, for claimants without attorney representation, we find sizable and significant differences between whites and African-Americans." ("JEL" J15, H53) Copyright 2006 Western Economic Association International.
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