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Social Support Substitution and the Earnings Rebound: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity in Disability Insurance Reform

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  • Lex Borghans
  • Anne C. Gielen
  • Erzo F.P. Luttmer

Abstract

In this paper, we exploit a cohort discontinuity in the stringency of the 1993 Dutch disability reforms to obtain causal estimates of the effects of decreased generosity of disability insurance (DI) on behavior of existing DI recipients. We find evidence of substantial “social support substitution”: individuals on average offset a euro of lost DI benefits by collecting 31 cents more from other social assistance programs. This benefit-substitution effect declines somewhat over time, but is still a significant 20% eight years later. Individuals also exhibit a strong rebound in earnings: labor earnings increase by 62 cents on average per euro of lost DI benefits. This is novel evidence of substantial remaining earnings capacity in a sample of long-term claimants of DI. On average, individuals make up for almost the entire DI benefit reduction through increases in other forms of social assistance and in labor earnings.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18261.

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Date of creation: Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18261

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References

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  1. Nicole Maestas & Kathleen Mullen & Alexander Strand, 2012. "Does Disability Insurance Receipt Discourage Work? Using Examiner Assignment to Estimate Causal Effects of SSDI Receipt," Working Papers wp241, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
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Cited by:
  1. Andreas Ravndal Kostol & Magne Mogstad, 2014. "How Financial Incentives Induce Disability Insurance Recipients to Return to Work," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(2), pages 624-55, February.
  2. Ilyana Kuziemko & Katherine Meckel & Maya Rossin-Slater, 2013. "Do Insurers Risk-Select Against Each Other? Evidence from Medicaid and Implications for Health Reform," NBER Working Papers 19198, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Lukas Inderbitzin & Stefan Staubli & Josef Zweimüller, 2013. "Extended Unemployment Benefits and Early Retirement: Program Complementarity and Program Substitution," Economics working papers 2013-06, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  4. Staubli, Stefan & Zweimüller, Josef, 2011. "Does Raising the Retirement Age Increase Employment of Older Workers?," CEPR Discussion Papers 8510, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Engström, Per & Hägglund, Pathric & Johansson, Per, 2012. "Early interventions and disability insurance: experience from a field experiment," Working Paper Series 2012:9, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  6. Gijs Roelofs & Daniel van Vuuren, 2011. "The decentralization of Social Assistance and the rise of Disability Insurance enrolment," CPB Discussion Paper 185, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  7. Pian Shu, 2013. "Asset Accumulation and Labor Force Participation of Disability Insurance Applicants," Harvard Business School Working Papers 14-008, Harvard Business School.

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