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  • 1.
    Engström, Per
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Forsell, Eskil
    Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Hagen, Johannes
    Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Economics. Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Stefánsson, Arnaldur
    Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Increasing the Take-Up of the Housing Allowance Among Swedish Pensioners: A Field Experiment2019In: International Tax and Public Finance, ISSN 0927-5940, E-ISSN 1573-6970, Vol. 26, no 6, p. 38p. 1353-1382Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    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 significant effect on the application rate and subsequent take-up rate: The baseline application rate in the targeted control population was only 1.4%, while the corresponding rates in the different treatment groups were between 9.9 and 12.1%. However, while the applications in the control group were accepted in almost 3 out of 4 cases, up to 50% of the applications in the treatment group were declined. The lower conditional acceptance rate in the treatment group seems to be largely driven by wealth, which the Pensions Agency cannot observe prior to submission. Information campaigns aimed at increasing benefit take-up therefore need careful design in situations with imperfect targeting.

  • 2.
    Hagen, Johannes
    Uppsala universitet, Nationalekonomiska institutionen.
    The determinants of annuitization: evidence from Sweden2015In: International Tax and Public Finance, ISSN 0927-5940, E-ISSN 1573-6970, Vol. 22, no 4, p. 549-578Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite the fact that the increasing involvement of the private sector in pension provision has brought more flexibility to the pay-out phase of retirement, little is known about the characteristics of those who choose to annuitize their pension wealth and those who do not. I combine unique micro-data from a large Swedish occupational pension plan with rich national administrative data to study the choice between life annuities and fixed-term payouts with a minimum payout length of 5 years for 183,000 retiring white-collar workers. I find that low accumulation of assets is strongly associated with the choice of the 5-year payout. Consistent with individuals selecting payout length based on private information about their mortality prospects, individuals who choose the 5-year payout are in worse health, exhibit higher ex-post mortality rates and have shorter-lived parents than annuitants. Individuals also seem to respond to large, tax-induced changes in annuity prices.

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