Nazarov awarded 2012 Steven H. Sandell Grant funded by Social Security Administration

Measuring effects of benefits/incentives counseling
Cornell University - ILR School : Institute for Compensation Studies™ : EDI’s and ICS’ Nazarov recipient of 2012 Sandell Grant
Thursday, May 3, 2012

Zafar Nazarov, Employment and Disability Institute Research Associate and Student Research Manager for the Institute for Compensation Studies in the ILR School at Cornell University is a 2012 Steven H. Sandell Grant recipient for his study on “Do Benefits and Work Incentives Counseling Improve Employment Outcomes of SSI/SSDI Beneficiaries Receiving Vocational Rehabilitation Services Under the Workforce Investment Act?"

The goal of the study is to better estimate the effect that benefits and work incentives counseling services have on employment and program participation outcomes of SSI/SSDI beneficiaries participating in vocational rehabilitation programs. The methods employed in existing studies to measure such effects have serious statistical limitations, namely completely ignoring non-random selection of beneficiaries into counseling services.

ICS Director and Joseph R. Rich ’80 Professor, Kevin Hallock, notes that “We are delighted that Zafar is part of our EDI and ICS research teams. Many of his strengths are reflected in this project where he will both contribute to answering an interesting and important question and address a technical problem in current literature to further accurate analysis and understanding.”

Nazarov plans to seek further insight from workforce development and vocational rehabilitation practitioners to understand how they actually assign beneficiaries into services. Directly involving the practitioners that refer to services should inform which statistical (econometric) techniques are most appropriate.

The Steven H. Sandell Grant Program is sponsored by The Center for Retirement Research and is funded by the U.S. Social Security Administration. No more than seven grant recipients are selected each year and a select group of winners will present their research results to at the Social Security Administration. The program provides opportunities for scholars “working in a new area to pursue cutting-edge projects on retirement income and disability insurance issues.”