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Social Interaction Effects in Disability Pension Participation: Evidence from Plant Downsizing

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  • Mari Rege
  • Kjetil Telle
  • Mark Votruba

Abstract

We estimate the magnitude of social interaction effects in disability pension participation among older workers in Norway. Specifically, we investigate how a worker's propensity to draw disability benefits is affected by a plausibly exogenous shock to the disability entry rate of similarly-aged workers in his or her neighborhood. The problem of omitted variable bias is addressed by employing a novel instrumental variable (IV) strategy, using plant downsizing at neighbors' plants of employment as an instrument for the disability entry rate among one's previously employed neighbors. Our IV estimates suggest that a one percentage point increase in the participation rate of previously employed neighbors increased the subsequent 4-year entry rate of workers by about one-half a percentage point. Numerous robustness and specification tests appear to support the validity of the identifying assumption in our IV strategy.
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  • Mari Rege & Kjetil Telle & Mark Votruba, 2012. "Social Interaction Effects in Disability Pension Participation: Evidence from Plant Downsizing," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(4), pages 1208-1239, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:114:y:2012:i:4:p:1208-1239
    DOI: j.1467-9442.2012.01719.x
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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