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Take It or Leave It: (Non-) Take-up Behavior of Social Assistance in Germany

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  • Hilke Almut Kayser
  • Joachim R. Frick

Abstract

Basierend auf den Mikro-Daten des Sozio-oekonomischen Panels untersuchen wir Determinanten der Nichtinanspruchnahme von Sozialhilfe in Deutschland. Die Schätzung einer Nichtinanspruchnahmequote ("Dunkelziffer") von über 60 Prozent zeigt deutliche Unterschiede für verschiedene Bevölkerungsgruppen und zudem signifikante Einflü e von Indikatoren zur Messung von Stigma, Kosten der Antragstellung und sozialen Bindungen. Resultate für die Höhe der nicht in Anspruch genommenen Sozialhilfebeträge sind qualitativ ähnlich. Wie erwartet ist die Rate der nicht ausgezahlten Sozialhilfeleistungen jedoch geringer als im Falle der Nichtinanspruchnahmequote, da es eher geringe Sozialhilfebeträge sind, die nicht beantragt werden. Darüber hinaus wird deutlich, wie stark die Berechnung der Inanspruchnahmequote mit der Bestimmung der Inanspruchnahmeberechtigung variiert. Angesichts der hohen Wahrscheinlichkeit von Messfehlern sowohl in den faktisch erhobenen Einkommensdaten als auch bei der Simulation des Bedarfseinkommens, bieten wir eine Reihe von Schätzungswerten und somit nützliche Sensitivitätsanalysen für die Nichtinanspruchnahmequote an. Analyzing the under-consumption of benefits in the German means-tested Social Assistance program using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study we estimate a high non-take-up rate of more than 60 percent. We find distinct differences across population groups and significant impacts of factors such as stigma, application costs and social ties. Specifically, we show that the rate varies greatly depending on the determination of eligibility. Results pertaining to the amount of unclaimed benefits are qualitatively similar to those for the non-take-up rate. As expected, the proportion of outstanding benefits that is not claimed by eligible households is lower than the non-take-up rate because small entitlement amounts are more likely to remain unclaimed. In light of likely measurement errors in income and in our simulation of household needs, we provide a range of estimates yielding useful boundaries for the non-take-up rate.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 210.

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Length: 47 p.
Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp210

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Related research

Keywords: Social Assistance; Welfare Participation; Social Policy; Means-Tested Benefits;

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References

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  1. Riphahn, Regina T., 2000. "Rational Poverty or Poor Rationality? The Take-up of Social Assistance Benefits," IZA Discussion Papers 124, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Anderson, Patricia M & Meyer, Bruce D, 1997. "Unemployment Insurance Takeup Rates and the After-Tax Value of Benefits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 913-37, August.
  3. Vanessa Fry & Graham Stark, 1987. "The take-up of supplementary benefit: gaps in the 'safety net'?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 8(4), pages 1-14, December.
  4. Rebecca M. Blank & Patricia Ruggles, 1996. "When Do Women Use Aid to Families with Dependent Children and Food Stamps? The Dynamics of Eligibility Versus Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 57-89.
  5. Bird, Edward J. & Kayser, Hilke & Wagner, Gert G. & Frick, Joachim R., 1999. "The Immigrant Welfare Effect: Take-Up or Eligibility?," IZA Discussion Papers 66, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Moffitt, Robert, 1983. "An Economic Model of Welfare Stigma," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1023-35, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Olivier Bargain & Herwig Immervollz & Heikki Viitamäkix, 2007. "How Tight are Safety-Nets in Nordic Countries? Evidence from Finnish Register Data," Working Papers 200727, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  2. Kerstin Bruckmeier & Jürgen Wiemers, 2010. "A New Targeting - A New Take-Up?: Non-take-up of Social Assistance in Germany after Social Policy Reforms," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 294, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  3. Joachim Wilde, 2003. "Was reizt Sozialhilfeempfänger zum Ausstieg? - Eine empirische Untersuchung mit dem Niedrigeinkommens-Panel," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 223(6), pages 719-742, November.
  4. Ewoudou, Jacques & Tsimpo, Clarence & Wodon, Quentin, 2009. "Stigma and the take-up of social programs," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4962, The World Bank.
  5. Olivier Bargain & Herwig Immervoll & Heikki Viitamäki, 2012. "No claim, no pain. Measuring the non-take-up of social assistance using register data," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 375-395, September.
  6. Laura Chadwick & Jürgen Volkert, 2003. "Making Work Pay: U.S. American models for a German context?," IAW Discussion Papers 08, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
  7. Pio Baake & Vanessa von Schlippenbach, 2008. "Upfront Payments and Listing Decisions," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 793, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  8. Joachim R. Frick & Olaf Groh-Samberg, 2007. "To Claim or Not to Claim: Estimating Non-take-up of Social Assistance in Germany and the Role of Measurement Error," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 53, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  9. Bruckmeier, Kerstin & Wiemers, Jürgen, 2011. "A new targeting - a new take-up? : non-take-up of social assistance in Germany after social policy reforms," IAB Discussion Paper 201110, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  10. Kai-Uwe Müller & Viktor Steiner, 2008. "Would a Legal Minimum Wage Reduce Poverty?: A Microsimulation Study for Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 791, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  11. Joachim Wilde & Alexander Kubis, 2005. "Nichtinanspruchnahme von Sozialhilfe, Eine empirische Analyse des Unerwarteten," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 225(3), pages 347-373, May.
  12. Fuchs, Michael, 2007. "Social assistance - no, thanks? Empirical analysis of non-take-up in Austria 2003," EUROMOD Working Papers EM4/07, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  13. Müller, Kai-Uwe & Steiner, Viktor, 2008. "Would a Legal Minimum Wage Reduce Poverty? A Microsimulation Study for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 3491, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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