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IFS-STICERD Public Economics Seminar

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This seminar series is jointly organized by the IFS and STICERD. They are held on Wednesdays during term time at 12:30-13:45 in the Insitute for Fiscal Studies (7 Ridgmount Street, London WC1E 7AE)

Entry is on a first-come first-served basis. No registration is required but places are limited. 

Seminar organisers: Mariacristina De Nardi (UCL), Monica Costa Dias (IFS), Dr Johannes Spinnewijn (LSE), Stuart Adam (IFS), Prof Henrik Kleven (LSE), Dr Camille Landais (LSE), Gabriel Zucman (LSE).

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Wednesday  28 February 2018  12:30 - 13:45

Couples' and Singles' Savings After Retirement

Eric French (UCL) , joint with Mariacristina De Nardi, John Bailey Jones and Rory McGee

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Not only retired couples hold more assets than singles, but high-income couples grow their savings during most of their retirement period. Why are they saving so much? Do they expect high medical expenses, do they deeply care about the welfare of their surviving spouse upon death, or do they want to leave bequests to others? What happens to savings when one of the members of the couple dies and why? We build a model of retired couples and singles facing uncertain longevity and medical expenses in which couples and singles can have different bequest motives. Both might care about heirs, but couples might also care about their surviving spouse. We use the AHEAD data and the method of simulated moments to estimate our model and disentangle the importance of saving motives of couples and singles. We also evaluate the effects of a Medicaid expansion on the savings and bequests of couples and singles.

IFS, 7 Ridgmount Street, London, WC1E 7AE
Wednesday  07 March 2018  12:30 - 13:45

Who Is Screened Out? Application Costs and the Targeting of Disability Programs

Manasi Deshpandi (MIT) , joint with Yue Li

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We study the effect of application costs on the targeting of disability programs using the closings of Social Security Administration field offices, which provide assistance with filing disability applications. We find that field office closings lead to large and persistent reductions in the number of disability recipients and reduce targeting efficiency based on current eligibility standards. The number of disability recipients declines by 13% in surrounding areas, with the largest effects for applicants with moderately severe conditions and low education levels. Evidence on channels suggests that increased congestion at neighboring offices is more important than higher travel or information costs.

IFS, 7 Ridgmount Street, London, WC1E 7AE