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Estimating the Effects of Recent Disability Reforms in the Netherlands

26 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2010 Last revised: 22 Jan 2013

Jan-Maarten van Sonsbeek

Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment; VU University Amsterdam

Raymond H. J. M. H. J. M. Gradus

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; Tinbergen Institute

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Date Written: September 9, 2012


In the 1980s and 1990s, disability benefit rates in the Netherlands were among the highest in the world. However, since the beginning of this century the number of disability cases has dropped remarkably due to some very successful policy reforms. An administrative data set concerning Dutch disability benefit recipients from 1999 to 2010 was used to analyse the immediate effects of the recent policy measures on disability inflow and outflow.

Three inflow-related measures introduced between 1998 and 2004 have had a large effect on the disability stock, reducing inflow into the disability scheme by over 40 percentage points. The new disability scheme introduced in 2006 created an additional reduction of over 20 percentage points. Effects differ substantially among demographic groups and sectors of economic activities. Furthermore, it is shown that the main outflow-related measure, re-examinations of younger beneficiaries, has had ambiguous effects on the disability stock.

Keywords: Microsimulation, disability, forecasting, policy reform

JEL Classification: C15, H55, J26

Suggested Citation

van Sonsbeek, Jan-Maarten mname and Gradus, Raymond H. J. M. mname, Estimating the Effects of Recent Disability Reforms in the Netherlands (September 9, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Jan-Maarten Van Sonsbeek (Contact Author)

Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment ( email )

Den Haag
+31-6-27979438 (Phone)

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, ND North Holland 1081 HV

Raymond H. J. M. Gradus

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam ( email )

Amsterdam, ND North Holland

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA

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