Department of Economics
University of Virginia
Monroe Hall, Room 237
248 McCormick Rd
Charlottesville, VA 22903
NBER Program Affiliations:
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|January 2018||Targeting with In-kind Transfers: Evidence from Medicaid Home Care|
with Ethan M.J. Lieber: w24267
Many of the most important government programs make transfers in kind as opposed to in cash. Making transfers in kind has the obvious cost that recipients would often prefer cost-equivalent cash transfers. But making transfers in kind can have benefits as well, including better targeting transfers to desired recipients or states of the world. In this paper, we develop a framework for evaluating this tradeoff and apply it to home care. Exploiting large-scale randomized experiments run by three state Medicaid programs, we find that in-kind provision of formal home care significantly reduces the value of benefits to recipients while targeting benefits to a small fraction of the eligible population that has greater demand for formal home care, is sicker, and has worse informal care options tha...
|March 2016||Government Old-Age Support and Labor Supply: Evidence from the Old Age Assistance Program|
with Daniel K. Fetter: w22132
Many major government programs transfer resources to older people and implicitly or explicitly tax their labor. In this paper, we shed new light on the labor supply and welfare effects of such programs by investigating the Old Age Assistance Program (OAA), a means-tested and state-administered pension program created by the Social Security Act of 1935. Using Census data on the entire US population in 1940, we exploit the large differences in OAA programs across states to estimate the labor supply effects of OAA. Our estimates imply that OAA reduced the labor force participation rate among men aged 65-74 by 8.5 percentage points, more than half of its 1930-40 decline. But both reduced-form evidence and an estimated structural model of labor supply suggest that the welfare cost to recipients...
|December 2014||Incidental Bequests: Bequest Motives and the Choice to Self-Insure Late-Life Risks|
Despite facing significant uncertainty about their lifespans and health care costs, most retirees do not buy annuities or long-term care insurance. In this paper, I find that retirees' saving and insurance choices are highly inconsistent with standard life cycle models in which people care only about their own consumption but match well models in which bequests are luxury goods. Bequest motives tend to reduce the value of insurance by reducing the opportunity cost of precautionary saving. The results suggest that bequest motives significantly increase saving and significantly decrease purchases of long-term care insurance and annuities.