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Survivors Benefits and Conjugal Behavior. Evidence from the Netherlands

Julie Tréguier and Simon Rabaté

No 2021-16, EconomiX Working Papers from University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX

Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of survivors insurance on marital behavior. We study the 1996 Dutch reform which considerably tightened eligibility rules to survivors' benefits. Exploiting a discontinuity in date of birth eligibility to survivors insurance and using a rich and exhaustive Dutch population administrative dataset, we carry out a regression discontinuity design and we find no evidence of the reform on divorce probability. Exploring possible explanations for our zero-effect result, we study how labor supply responses can compensate the income drop the reform induced. We find a strong increase in the labor force participation of widows after the reform. However this response does not completely offset the decrease in income generated form the cut in survivors benefits.

Keywords: divorce; marriage dissolution; survivor benefits; labor supply; income effect; unearned income (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H31 I38 J12 J22 J48 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 44 pages
Date: 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur and nep-ias
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