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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Mob: +46 73 399 0592
karin.edmark@sofi.su.se

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Social Capital and Health

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Martin Ljunge, IFN, is the author of a chapter, "Trust promotes health: addressing reverse causality by studying children of immigrants", in a new book edited by Sherman Folland and Eric Nauenberg. The cutting edge of research is presented, covering the ever-expanding social capital field.

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