Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Why the young demand more social insurance than older generations

Take up rates for various social insurance schemes generally increase from generation to generation, even when their is no change to the rules. That must be either because new generations are more feeble and, say, tend to become more frequently or earlier handicapped, or that they have a higher demand for social insurance benefits, say, because they are feeling more entitled (one can have different interpretations).

Martin Ljunge build a model where younger generations are influenced by what older generations did in the following way: Deciding whether to apply for benefits depends on a "psychic cost" that depends on the take up rate of the previous cohort. The model is the estimated using individual data from the sick leave program in Sweden (I think, this is never explicitly mentioned). It is found that, indeed, having parents taking advantage of social benefits lowers the cost on one doing so oneself. This effect makes up half of the long term increase in the take up rate.

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