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On mandatory activation of welfare receivers

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Author Info

  • Dahlberg, Matz

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

  • Johansson, Kajsa

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

  • Mörk, Eva

    ()
    (IFAU)

Abstract

This paper investigates whether mandatory activation programs for welfare receivers have effects on welfare participation, employment and disposable income. In contrast to earlier studies we are able to capture both entry and exit effects. The empirical analysis makes use of a Swedish welfare reform in which the city districts in Stockholm gradually implemented mandatory activation programs for individuals on welfare. The reform is well suited for investigating effects of such programs for several reasons. First, the reform was not combined with any other policy instruments, like time limits or tax credits, making sure that we will capture effects of mandatory activation policies and nothing else. Second, the reform was initiated at different points of time in different city districts, which ease identification. Third, using data from city districts within a single local labor market we can control for confounding macro economic shocks. Overall, we find that mandatory activation of welfare receivers reduce overall welfare participation and increases employment. We also find that mandatory activation programs appear to work best for young people and for people born in non-Western countries. For disposable income, we do not find a statistically significant effect.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2008:13.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 05 Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2008_013

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
Email:
Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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Related research

Keywords: Welfare reform; Mandatory activation programs; Welfare participation; Employment; Difference-in-differences;

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References

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  1. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey A. Smith & Mark C. Berger & Brett J. Noel, 2003. "Is the Threat of Reemployment Services More Effective Than the Services Themselves? Evidence from Random Assignment in the UI System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1313-1327, September.
  2. Meyer, Bruce D. & Sullivan, James X., 2004. "The effects of welfare and tax reform: the material well-being of single mothers in the 1980s and 1990s," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1387-1420, July.
  3. Erling Barth & Bernt Bratsberg & Oddbj¯rn Raaum, 2004. "Identifying Earnings Assimilation of Immigrants under Changing Macroeconomic Conditions," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(1), pages 1-22, 03.
  4. Bernt Bratsberg & Erling Barth & Oddbjørn Raaum, 2006. "Local Unemployment and the Relative Wages of Immigrants: Evidence from the Current Population Surveys," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 243-263, May.
  5. Jeffrey Grogger & Steven J. Haider & Jacob Klerman, 2003. "Why Did the Welfare Rolls Fall During the 1990's? The Importance of Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 288-292, May.
  6. Stephen G. Donald & Kevin Lang, 2007. "Inference with Difference-in-Differences and Other Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 221-233, May.
  7. Bruce D. Meyer & James X. Sullivan, 2003. "Measuring the Well-Being of the Poor Using Income and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 9760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," NBER Working Papers 8983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Gustafsson, Björn Anders, 2011. "Disparities in Social Assistance Receipt between Immigrants and Natives in Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 6129, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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