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DI Till I Die: Mortality Effects from Welfare Generosity

  • Series
  • Speaker(s)
    Mikkel Hasse Pedersen (University of Southern Denmark, Denmark)
  • Field
    Empirical Microeconomics
  • Location
    Erasmus University Rotterdam, Mandeville Building, Room T3-2
  • Date and time

    April 11, 2019
    11:45 - 12:45


This paper investigates the mortality effects of increased welfare generosity, for the case of disability insurance (DI) beneficiaries in Denmark. I exploit a policy that, by introducing a new supplementary payment, increased DI benefits by 10% for a specific subgroup of beneficiaries. Using a difference- in-difference estimation strategy I find that increased welfare generosity leads to a 2.52 percentage points higher probability of death six years after the reform. Further, I find that the effects on mortality are concentrated among male and single male recipients and that up to 75% of the excess mortality risk in these subgroups can be explained by an increase in the risk of dying from a disease related to abusive alcohol use and overdoses of narcotics and psychodysleptics.