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How Financial Incentives Induce Disability Insurance Recipients to Return to Work

Author

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  • Kostol, Andreas Ravndal

    () (University of Bergen)

  • Mogstad, Magne

    () (University of Chicago)

Abstract

Disability Insurance (DI) programs have long been criticized by economists for apparent work disincentives. Some countries have recently modified their programs such that DI recipients are allowed to keep some of their benefits if they return to work, and other countries are considering similar return-to-work policies. However, there is little empirical evidence of the effectiveness of programs that incentivize the return to work by DI recipients. Using a local randomized experiment that arises from a sharp discontinuity in DI policy in Norway, we provide transparent and credible identification of how financial incentives induce DI recipients to return to work. We find that many DI recipients have considerable capacity to work that can be effectively induced by providing financial work incentives. We also show that providing work incentives to DI recipients may both increase their disposable income and reduce program costs. Our findings also suggest that targeted policies may be the most effective in encouraging DI recipients to return to work.

Suggested Citation

  • Kostol, Andreas Ravndal & Mogstad, Magne, 2012. "How Financial Incentives Induce Disability Insurance Recipients to Return to Work," IZA Discussion Papers 6702, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6702
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor supply; financial incentives; disability insurance; regression discontinuity design;

    JEL classification:

    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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