IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/aah/aarhec/2013-24.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Do wage subsidies for disabled workers result in deadweight loss? – evidence from the Danish Flexjob scheme

Author

Listed:
  • Nabanita Datta Gupta

    () (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University)

  • Mona Larsen

    (SFI - The Danish National Centre for Social Research)

  • Lars Brink Thomsen

    (Danmarks Nationalbank)

Abstract

We evaluate the effects of wage subsidy programs for the disabled, in particular, their potential for welfare-loss reduction vs. deadweight loss creation. We do this in the context of the Danish Flexjob scheme, a large, nation-wide scheme that was implemented in 1998 and targeted towards improving the employment prospects of the long-term disabled with partial working capacity. We analyse the hiring response to a shock in the wage reimbursement amount to certain firms using the program. Firms received a salary reimbursement for both current and new employees granted a Flexjob subsidy. In 2002, the reimbursement to government firms was lowered while the reimbursement to municipal and regional employers remained the same. We combine the reform with unique data on whether or not a new Flexjob hiree was previously employed in a regular (unsubsidized) job at the same firm. Thus, we can investigate whether the changes in the reimbursement amount to governmental units affected the share of Flexjobs within such firms that were allocated to retained employees versus to new hires. The findings show substantial substitution between “insiders” and “outsiders” after the reform. After the reform, governmental firms create fewer Flexjobs. At the same time, the composition of Flexjob hires within such firms changes substantially: the share of new Flexjobs allocated to retained employees is twice as large as it would have been in absence of the reform. The finding on deadweight loss seems to run counter to the theoretical prediction. A possible alternative mechanism for the finding could be that when subsidies are reduced and worker productivity is not known with certainty, employers have an economic incentive to fill Flexjob positions from inside the firm.

Suggested Citation

  • Nabanita Datta Gupta & Mona Larsen & Lars Brink Thomsen, 2013. "Do wage subsidies for disabled workers result in deadweight loss? – evidence from the Danish Flexjob scheme," Economics Working Papers 2013-24, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
  • Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2013-24
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: ftp://ftp.econ.au.dk/afn/wp/13/wp13_24.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gerfin, Michael & Lechner, Michael & Steiger, Heidi, 2005. "Does subsidised temporary employment get the unemployed back to work? Aneconometric analysis of two different schemes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(6), pages 807-835, December.
    2. Humer, Brigitte & Wuellrich, Jean-Philippe & Zweimüller, Josef, 2007. "Integrating Severely Disabled Individuals into the Labour Market: The Austrian Case," IZA Discussion Papers 2649, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. David H. Autor & Mark G. Duggan, 2007. "Distinguishing Income from Substitution Effects in Disability Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 119-124, May.
    4. Lawrence F. Katz, 1996. "Wage Subsidies for the Disadvantaged," NBER Working Papers 5679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Aki Kangasharju, 2007. "Do Wage Subsidies Increase Employment in Subsidized Firms?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(293), pages 51-67, February.
    6. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias & Costas Meghir & John Van Reenen, 2004. "Evaluating the Employment Impact of a Mandatory Job Search Program," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 569-606, June.
    7. Brian Bell & Richard Blundell & John Reenen, 1999. "Getting the Unemployed Back to Work: The Role of Targeted Wage Subsidies," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 6(3), pages 339-360, August.
    8. Venetoklis, Takis & Kangasharju, Aki, 2003. "Do Wage-subsidies Increase Employment in Firms?," Discussion Papers 304, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    9. Betcherman, Gordon & Daysal, N. Meltem & Pagés, Carmen, 2010. "Do employment subsidies work? Evidence from regionally targeted subsidies in Turkey," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 710-722, August.
    10. Riccardo Welters & Joan Muysken, 2006. "Employer search and employment subsidies," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(12), pages 1435-1448.
    11. Barron, John M & Black, Dan A & Loewenstein, Mark A, 1987. "Employer Size: The Implications for Search, Training, Capital Investment, Starting Wages, and Wage Growth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(1), pages 76-89, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    disability; wage subsidies; deadweight loss; difference-in-differences;

    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
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2013-24. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://www.econ.au.dk/afn/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.