Targeting disability insurance applications with screening

About the ESRI Seminar Series

The ESRI organises a public seminar series, inviting researchers from both the ESRI and other institutions to present new research on a variety of public policy issues. The seminar series provides access to specialised knowledge and new research methodologies, with the objective of promoting research excellence and facilitating productive dialogue across the policy and research fields.

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Maarten Lindeboom, VU Amsterdam, with ESRI researcher Elish Kelly.

Slides from this seminar are now available here.

Guest Speaker

Maarten Lindeboom, School of Business and Economics, Economics Tinbergen Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Seminar Topic

We study the effect of increased screening stringency in the application process on the targeting efficiency of disability programs. We exploit the implementation of the Gatekeeper protocol – a 2002 Dutch reform which aimed at increasing work resumption of sick workers during the sickness period that precedes (Disability Insurance) DI claims. We use data derived from linked administrative registers which cover the entire Dutch working-age population during 1995-2011 and estimate the effects of the Gatekeeper protocol in a Regression Discontinuity in Time (RDiT) framework. We find a strong decline in the number of DI applicants, amounting to about 30 percent, and a 27 percent decline in the number of DI recipients, suggesting that the Gatekeeper disproportionately discouraged applications by those who would not have been allowed DI benefits if they had applied. Combined with strong compositional changes in the applicant pool (worse health), our results suggest that increased screening in the application process led to an overall increase in the targeting efficiency. Targeting improvements were primarily confined to females, low-earners, the youth and individuals with mental or “other” (non-categorized by NSII) impairments.

Speaker Bio

Maarten Lindeboom (PhD Leiden University) is a Professor of Economics and chair of the Department of Economics at VU University The Netherlands. His research interest is applied microeconomics in the fields of health, labour and demography. He is currently editor of the Journal of Health Economics and held longer term visiting position at the University of Michigan (Netherlands visiting Professorship, The Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences) and the University of Bristol (Benjamin Meaker Chair).