Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/91518
Authors: 
Beatty, Timothy K. M.
Blow, Laura
Crossley, Thomas F.
O'Dea, Cormac
Year of Publication: 
2011
Series/Report no.: 
IFS Working Papers W11/10
Abstract: 
Standard economic theory implies that the labelling of cash transfers or cash-equivalents (e.g. child benefits, food stamps) should have no effect on spending patterns. The empirical literature to date does not contradict this proposition. We study the UK Winter Fuel Payment (WFP), a cash transfer to older households. Exploiting sharp eligibility criteria in a regression discontinuity design, we find robust evidence of a behavioural effect of the labelling. On average households spend 41% of the WFP on fuel. If the payment was treated as cash, we would expect households to spend approximately 3% of the payment on fuel.
Subjects: 
labelling
benefits
expenditure
JEL: 
D12
H24
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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