28 Nov @12:30

Public support for older disabled people: evidence from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing on receipt of disability benefits and social care subsidy

Speaker(s): Marcello Morciano, University of East Anglia

Date: 12:30 on Mon, 28 Nov 2016

Duration: 1.5 hours

Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building,Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ


In England, there is a two part system of public support for older people with disability: a national system of non-means tested cash disability benefits, administered by the Department of Work and Pensions; and a Local Authority (LA)-administered means-tested system of social care. In 2014, the Barker Review recommended Attendance Allowance, the main cash disability benefit available for older people, within an integrated health and social care system, in the belief that a unified system of support would improve the overall target efficiency of the public intervention by removing unjustified disparities of treatment (in terms of horizontal and vertical equity). So far, however, very little is known about the target efficiency properties of the two-part system in place.

By exploiting the new set of information collected in the sixth wave of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), this paper describes the pattern of receipt of cash disability benefits and (privately funded and LA-subsidised) care services among individuals aged 65 and over, living in private dwellings in England. Using the large set of functional disability indicators available in the ELSA, we employ a structural equation approach involving a latent concept of disability that, together with other personal characteristics (which includes, among others, income) influence receipt of cash disability benefits and of formal care.

The latent disability index we derive is then used to rank individuals according their disability level (at the intensive margin) and to assess leakage and under-coverage problems of the two-part system of supports for older people with disability. Predicted probabilities of receipt for illustrative individuals provides clear policy-relevant messages.

Marcello is currently a Research Fellow at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK and a member of the Centre for the Analysis of Public Policies (CAPP) at the Department of Economics of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy.

His research interests cover a variety of field of applied economics, ranging from the economics of disability, health and public economics of ageing to a more methodological aspects in applied health micro-econometrics.

On these topics he has published in various journals, including the Journal of Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), Review of Income and Wealth.