Social Interaction Effects in Disability Pension Participation: Evidence from Plant Downsizing



Scandanavian Journal of Economics, 4 ed., vol. 114, pp. 1208-39, October (4th Quarter/Autumn) 2012



We estimate the magnitude of social interaction effects in disability pension participation among older workers in Norway. The problem of omitted variable bias is addressed using the exposure of an individual's neighbors to plant-downsizing events as an instrument for the disability entry rate among the individual's previously employed neighbors. Our instrumental variable (IV) estimates suggest that an increase of one percentage point in the participation rate of previously employed neighbors increased the subsequent four-year entry rate of older workers by about 0.4 percentage points. Numerous robustness and specification tests appear to support the validity of the identifying assumption in our IV strategy.

Mark Votruba