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The health benefits of a targeted cash transfer: the UK Winter Fuel Payment

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  • Thomas Crossley

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Fiscal Studies, University of Essex)

  • Federico Zilio

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Social & Economic Research)

Abstract

Each year the UK records 25,000 or more excess winter deaths, primarily among the elderly. A key policy response is the “Winter Fuel Payment” (WFP), a labelled but unconditional cash transfer to households with a member above the Female State Pension Age. The WFP has been shown to raise fuel spending among eligible households. We examine the causal effect of the WFP on health outcomes, including self-reports of chest infection, measured hypertension and biomarkers of infection and inflammation. We find a robust and statistically significant six percentage point reduction in the incidence of high levels of serum fibrinogen. Reductions in other disease markers point to health benefits, but the estimated effects are not robustly statistically significant.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Crossley & Federico Zilio, 2017. "The health benefits of a targeted cash transfer: the UK Winter Fuel Payment," IFS Working Papers W17/23, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:17/23
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hendrik Jürges & Eberhard Kruk & Steffen Reinhold, 2013. "The effect of compulsory schooling on health—evidence from biomarkers," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 645-672, April.
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    5. Beatty, Timothy K.M. & Blow, Laura & Crossley, Thomas F. & O'Dea, Cormac, 2014. "Cash by any other name? Evidence on labeling from the UK Winter Fuel Payment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 86-96.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Alastair Canaway’s journal round-up for 28th May 2018
      by captaincanaway in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2018-05-28 11:00:22

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    Cited by:

    1. Viggers, Helen & Keall, Michael & Howden-Chapman, Philippa & Wickens, Kristin & Ingham, Tristram & Davies, Cheryl & Chapman, Ralph & Crane, Julian, 2019. "Effect of an electricity voucher on electricity use," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 134(C).
    2. Llorca, Manuel & Rodriguez-Alvarez, Ana & Jamasb, Tooraj, 2020. "Objective vs. subjective fuel poverty and self-assessed health," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    benefits; health; biomarkers; heating; regression discontinuity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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