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Inter-generational effects of disability benefits: evidence from Canadian social assistance programs

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  • Kelly Chen

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  • Lars Osberg
  • Shelley Phipps

Abstract

Individuals with disabilities face greater challenges in the labor market than able-bodied individuals, and a growing body of research is finding that their children also tend to have more developmental problems than the children of able-bodied parents. Can transfer payments help reduce this gap? In this paper, we present the first evidence on how parental disability benefits affect the well-being of children. Using changes in real benefits under ten disability benefit programs in Canada as an identification strategy and Statistics Canada’s National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) as the data source on child outcomes, we find strong evidence that higher benefits lead to improvements in children’s cognitive and non-cognitive development, as measured by math scores in standardized tests, hyperactive symptoms, and emotional anxiety behavior. The effect is larger on children with a disabled mother than on those with a disabled father. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Kelly Chen & Lars Osberg & Shelley Phipps, 2015. "Inter-generational effects of disability benefits: evidence from Canadian social assistance programs," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 873-910, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:28:y:2015:i:4:p:873-910
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-015-0557-9
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    1. Kelly Chen & Lars Osberg & Shelley Phipps, 2019. "Unequal opportunities and public policy: The impact of parental disability benefits on child postsecondary attendance," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 52(4), pages 1401-1432, November.
    2. Gordon B. Dahl & Anne (A.C.) Gielen, 2018. "Intergenerational Spillovers in Disability Insurance," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 18-015/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Katie M Jajtner, 2020. "Work‐Limiting Disability and Intergenerational Economic Mobility," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2001-2016, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Disability benefits; Child well-being; Welfare; Inter-generational transmission; J1; J6; I38;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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