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Forward-looking moral hazard in social insurance: evidence from a natural experiment

Marcus Eliason (), Per Johansson () and Martin Nilsson
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Martin Nilsson: IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy, Postal: Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy, P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

No 2018:11, Working Paper Series from IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

Abstract: This study tests for forward-looking moral hazard in the social insurance system by exploiting a 1991 reform in Sweden. The replacement rate was reduced for short absences but not for long absences, which introduced a potential future cost of returning to work. Using this exogenous variation in the replacement rate and controlling for dynamic selection, we find that the potential future cost of returning to work decreased the outflow from absence by 10 percent. This finding suggests that long-term sickness absentees are forward-looking, and highlights the importance of taking forward-looking behavior into account when designing and evaluating social insurance programs.

Keywords: disability Insurance; dynamic Incentives; forward-looking behavior; moral hazard; natural experiment; sickness absence; sickness insurance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H55 I12 I13 J22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea, nep-ias and nep-lma
Date: 2018-09-05
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