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The Effect of Benefits Level on Take-up Rates: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

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  • Momi Dahan
  • Udi Nisan

Abstract

This paper exploits a quasi-natural experiment to study the effect of social benefits level on take-up rates. We find that households who are eligible for double benefits (twins) have much higher take-up rate - up to double - as compared to a control group of households. Our estimated effect of benefits level is much higher relative to the standard cross section estimates. This finding is less exposed to a selection bias that might plague much of the previous research on the link between benefits level and take-up. It provides strong empirical support for the level of benefits as a key factor in determining take-up rates.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2007/wp-cesifo-2007-01/cesifo1_wp1885.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1885.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1885

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Keywords: take-up; social benefits;

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References

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  1. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1980. "Testing the Quantity-Quality Fertility Model: The Use of Twins as a Natural Experiment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 227-40, January.
  2. Sendhil Mullainathan & Marianne Bertrand & Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 1998. "Network Effects and Welfare Cultures," Working papers 98-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Rebecca Blank & David Card & Whitney Newey, 1988. "Recent Trends in Insured and Uninsured Unemployment: Is There an Explanation?," Working Papers 623, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  4. Virginia Hernanz & Franck Malherbet & Michele Pellizzari, 2004. "Take-Up of Welfare Benefits in OECD Countries: A Review of the Evidence," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 17, OECD Publishing.
  5. Anderson, Patricia M & Meyer, Bruce D, 1997. "Unemployment Insurance Takeup Rates and the After-Tax Value of Benefits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 913-37, August.
  6. Currie, J, 1996. "Do Children of Immigrants Make Differential Use of Public Health Insurance?," Papers 96-13, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  7. Esther Dufluo & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "The role of information and social interactions in retirement plan decisions: Evidence from a randomized experiment," Framed Field Experiments 00141, The Field Experiments Website.
  8. Kathleen McGarry, 1996. "Factors Determining Participation of the Elderly in Supplemental Security Income," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(2), pages 331-358.
  9. Currie, Janet, 2004. "The Take-Up of Social Benefits," IZA Discussion Papers 1103, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Joshua D. Angrist, 2000. "Estimation of Limited-Dependent Variable Models with Dummy Endogenous Regressors: Simple Strategies for Empirical Practice," NBER Technical Working Papers 0248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "The Role Of Information And Social Interactions In Retirement Plan Decisions: Evidence From A Randomized Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 815-842, August.
  12. Rebecca M. Blank & Patricia Ruggles, 1993. "When Do Women Use AFDC & Food Stamps? The Dynamics of Eligibility vs. Participation," NBER Working Papers 4429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. George J. Borjas & Lynette Hilton, 1995. "Immigration and the Welfare State: Immigrant Participation in Means- Tested Entitlement Programs," NBER Working Papers 5372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Alan Krueger & Orley Ashenfelter, 1992. "Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling from a New Sample of Twins," NBER Working Papers 4143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Moffitt, Robert, 1983. "An Economic Model of Welfare Stigma," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1023-35, December.
  16. Angrist, Joshua D, 2001. "Estimations of Limited Dependent Variable Models with Dummy Endogenous Regressors: Simple Strategies for Empirical Practice: Reply," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(1), pages 27-28, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Momi Dahan & Udi Nisan, 2006. "Low Take-up Rates: The Role of Information," CESifo Working Paper Series 1829, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Fuchs, Michael, 2007. "Social assistance - no, thanks? Empirical analysis of non-take-up in Austria 2003," EUROMOD Working Papers EM4/07, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  3. Zantomio, Francesca, 2008. "The route to take-up: raising incentives or lowering barriers?," ISER Working Paper Series 2008-35, Institute for Social and Economic Research.

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