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Increasing the take-up of the housing allowance among Swedish pensioners: a field experiment
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics, Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies.
Stockholm Sch Econ, Dept Econ, Stockholm, Sweden.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics, Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Statistics. Jonkoping Univ, Jonkoping Int Business Sch, Jonkoping, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3093-726x
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics, Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies. Uppsala Univ, UCLS, Uppsala, Sweden.
2019 (English)In: International Tax and Public Finance, ISSN 0927-5940, E-ISSN 1573-6970, Vol. 26, no 6, p. 1353-1382Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Using a randomized field experiment in the Swedish pension system, we investigate whether receiving an information letter affects the take-up rate of the housing allowance for pensioners. We also investigate whether the framing of the information letter affects take-up. The results show that simple information letters had a significant effect on the application rate and subsequent take-up rate: The baseline application rate in the targeted control population was only 1.4%, while the corresponding rates in the different treatment groups were between 9.9 and 12.1%. However, while the applications in the control group were accepted in almost 3 out of 4 cases, up to 50% of the applications in the treatment group were declined. The lower conditional acceptance rate in the treatment group seems to be largely driven by wealth, which the Pensions Agency cannot observe prior to submission. Information campaigns aimed at increasing benefit take-up therefore need careful design in situations with imperfect targeting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SPRINGER , 2019. Vol. 26, no 6, p. 1353-1382
Keywords [en]
Benefit take-up, RCT, Nudge
National Category
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-398414DOI: 10.1007/s10797-019-09538-9ISI: 000496329600006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-398414DiVA, id: diva2:1377100
Conference
74th Annual Congress of the International-Institute-of-Public-Finance (IIPF), AUG 21-23, 2018, Univ Tampere, Tampere, FINLAND
Available from: 2019-12-11 Created: 2019-12-11 Last updated: 2019-12-11Bibliographically approved

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Engström, PerHagen, JohannesStefánsson, Arnaldur
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