Social Insurance Networks
Simen Markussen and Knut Røed
Photo: University of Wisconsin Press
Journal of Human Resources, volume 50, pp. 1081-1113, 2015
Based on administrative panel data from Norway, we examine how social insurance claims spread among neighbors and former schoolmates. We use a fixed effects methodology that accounts for endogenous group formation, contextual interactions generated by predetermined social factors, and time-constant as well as time-varying confounders. We report evidence that social insurance claims are contagious. There are significant local peer effects both in the overall use of social insurance and in the propensity to use one particular social insurance program rather than another. The magnitudes of the estimated peer effects rise consistently with measures of geographical and relational closeness.