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Intergenerational Spillovers in Disability Insurance

Author

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  • Gordon B. Dahl

    (UCSD)

  • Anne (A.C.) Gielen

    (IZA)

Abstract

Does participation in a social assistance program by parents have spillovers on their children's own participation, future labor market attachment, and human capital investments? While intergenerational concerns have figured prominently in policy debates for decades, causal evidence is scarce due to nonrandom participation and data limitations. In this paper we exploit a 1993 policy reform in the Netherlands which tightened disability insurance (DI) criteria for existing claimants, and use rich panel data to link parents to children's long-run outcomes. The key to our regression discontinuity design is that the reform applied to younger cohorts, while older cohorts were exempted from the new rules. We find that children of parents who were pushed out of DI or had their benefits reduced are 11% less likely to participate in DI themselves, do not alter their use of other government safety net programs, and earn 2% more in the labor market as adults. The combination of reduced government transfers and increased tax revenue results in a fiscal gain of 5,900 euros per treated parent due to child spillovers by 2014. Moreover, children of treated parents complete an extra 0.12 years of schooling on average, an investment consistent with an anticipated future with less reliance on DI. Our findings have important implications for the evaluation of this and other policy reforms: ignoring parent-to-child spillovers understates the long-run cost savings of the Dutch reform by between 21 and 40% in present discounted value terms.

Suggested Citation

  • Gordon B. Dahl & Anne (A.C.) Gielen, 2018. "Intergenerational Spillovers in Disability Insurance," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 18-015/V, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20180015
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Gabriela Galassi & David Koll & Lukas Mayr, 2019. "The Intergenerational Correlation of Employment: Is There a Role for Work Culture?," Staff Working Papers 19-33, Bank of Canada.
    3. Furtado, Delia & Papps, Kerry L. & Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos, 2022. "Who Goes on Disability when Times are Tough? The Role of Work Norms among Immigrants," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    4. Monique De Haan & Ragnhild C. Schreiner, 2018. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Welfare Dependency," CESifo Working Paper Series 7140, CESifo.
    5. Bubonya, Melisa & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2021. "Pathways of Disadvantage: Unpacking the Intergenerational Correlation in Welfare," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).
    6. Galassi, Gabriela & Koll, David & Mayr, Lukas, 2019. "The Intergenerational Correlation of Employment: Is There a Role for Work Culture?," IZA Discussion Papers 12595, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Jim Been & Anne C. Gielen & Marike Knoef & Gloria Moroni, 2022. "Prolonged worklife among grandfathers: Spillover effects on grandchildren's educational outcomes," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 22-033/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    8. Furtado, Delia & Papps, Kerry L. & Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos, 2019. "Who Goes on Disability When Times Are Tough? The Role of Social Costs of Take-Up Among Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 12097, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Godoey, Anna & Reich, Michael & Allegretto, Sylvia, 2019. "Parental Labor Supply: Evidence from Minimum Wage Changes. Working Paper #103-19," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt1f66h44t, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    10. Lidia Farré & Cristina Felfe & Libertad González Luna & Patrick Schneider, 2022. "Changing gender norms across generations: Evidence from a paternity leave reform," Economics Working Papers 1812, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    11. Bastian, Jacob E. & Jones, Maggie R., 2021. "Do EITC expansions pay for themselves? Effects on tax revenue and government transfers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 196(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Peer effects; disability insurance; intergenerational links;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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