Working Paper No. 894

Is Welfare Dependency Inherited? Estimating the Causal Welfare Transmission Effects Using Swedish Sibling Data

Published: January 2, 2012Pages: 41Keywords: Welfare benefits; Intergenerational mobility; Sibling approachJEL-codes: I30; J10
Published version

Is Welfare Dependency Inherited? Estimating the Causal Welfare Transmission Effects Using Swedish Sibling Data Karin Edmark and Kajsa Hanspers


This study tests whether individuals who grow up with parents on welfare benefits are themselves more (or less) likely to be welfare recipients as young adults, compared to individuals who grow up in non-welfare households. We use the sibling difference method to identify causal effects separately from the effects of correlated factors. While a descriptive analysis reveals a fairly high positive intergenerational correlation, especially in the late teens and conditional on a large set of household level factors, the sibling analysis provides no support for a causal effect of parents’ welfare benefit receipt on children’s future welfare use.

Karin Edmark

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Sick of Inequality?

An Introduction to the Relationship between Inequality and Health

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In this book Andreas Bergh, Therese Nilsson, IFN and Lund University, and Daniel Waldenström, IFN and Paris School of Economics, France, review the latest research on the relationship between inequality and health. What does inequality mean for our health? Does increasing income inequality affect outcomes such as obesity, life expectancy and subjective well-being?

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