Welfare spending and mortality rates for the elderly before the Social Security era
AbstractWe analyze the impact of the original means-tested old-age assistance (OAA) programs on the health of the elderly prior to the first Social Security pension payments. Before 1935 a number of states had enacted their own OAA laws. After 1935 the federal government began offering matching grants and thus stimulated the adoption of OAA programs by the states. A new panel data set of 75 cities for each year between 1929 and 1938 combines mortality rates for older age groups with three measures of the OAA programs, spending on non-age-specific relief and a rich set of correlates. The data are analyzed using difference-in-difference-in-difference and instrumental variables methods. Our results suggest that old-age assistance in the 1930s had little impact on the death rate of the elderly. Our sense is that the OAA programs in the 1930s transferred the elderly from general relief programs without necessarily increasing the resources available to them.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.
Volume (Year): 47 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830
Mortality rates Old-age assistance Social Security Elderly;
Other versions of this item:
- Adrian Stoian & Price V. Fishback, 2009. "Welfare Spending and Mortality Rates for the Elderly Before the Social Security Era," NBER Working Papers 14970, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
- H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
- I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
- N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
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