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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

We exploit a cohort discontinuity in the stringency of Dutch disability reforms to estimate the effects of decreased DI (disability insurance) generosity on behavior of existing recipients. We find evidence of social support substitution: individuals on average offset €1.00 of lost DI benefits by collecting €0.30 more from other social assistance programs, but this benefit-substitution effect declines over time. Individuals also exhibit a rebound in earnings: earnings increase by €0.62 on average per euro of lost DI benefits and this effect remains roughly constant over time. This is strong evidence of substantial remaining earnings capacity among long-term claimants of DI.

Suggested Citation

  • Lex Borghans & Anne C. Gielen & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2014. "Social Support Substitution and the Earnings Rebound: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity in Disability Insurance Reform," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 34-70, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:6:y:2014:i:4:p:34-70
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.6.4.34
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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