Increasing the Take-Up of the Housing Allowance Among Swedish Pensioners: A Field Experiment

38 Pages Posted: 16 May 2018  

Per Engstrom

Uppsala University - Department of Economics

Eskil Forsell

Uppsala University - Department of Economics

Johannes Hagen

Jönköping University

Arnaldur Stefánsson

Uppsala University - Department of Economics

Date Written: May 2, 2018

Abstract

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 dramatic effect on the application rate and subsequent take-up rate: the baseline application rate in the targeted control population was only 1.4 percent while the corresponding rates in the different treatment groups were between 9.9 and 12.1 percent. The letter that addressed common misconceptions about the benefit caused significantly higher submission and acceptance rates. The letters had a substantial economic effect on the applicants. We estimate that the applicants, induced by the treatment, increased their monthly incomes by around 10 percent.

Keywords: Benefit Take-Up, RCT, Nudge

JEL Classification: H55, H50

Suggested Citation

Engstrom, Per and Forsell, Eskil and Hagen, Johannes and Stefánsson, Arnaldur, Increasing the Take-Up of the Housing Allowance Among Swedish Pensioners: A Field Experiment (May 2, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3172271

Per Engstrom (Contact Author)

Uppsala University - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 513
SE-75120 Uppsala
Sweden
+46 - 18 - 471 15 65 (Phone)
+46 - 18 - 471 14 78 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.nek.uu.se/cgi/staffpage.pl?PId=13,lang=eng

Eskil Forsell

Uppsala University - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 513
SE-75120 Uppsala
Sweden

Johannes Hagen

Jönköping University ( email )

Gjuterigatan 5
Jönköping, 553 18
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.johanneshagen.com

Arnaldur Stefánsson

Uppsala University - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 513
Uppsala, 751 20
Sweden

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