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The Dynamics of Welfare Participation in Québec

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  • Duclos, Jean-Yves

    ()

  • Fortin, Bernard

    ()

  • Lacroix, Guy

    ()

  • Roberge, Hélène

Abstract

Few studies have examined the dynamics of participation in welfare in Québec and elsewhere in Canada. This paper sheds some light on that important topic, which is crucial for the understanding of the features and of the effects of welfare programmes, and for the analysis of possible reforms. For this, we use a large representative sample of welfare participants between 1979 and 1993. We find that the majority of new spells last for less than one year. Nevertheless, that a large proportion of ongoing spells are of long duration. We estimate for instance that the 50% shortest spells account for only 10% of total welfare spending. Overall, single men leave welfare more rapidly than single women, young people faster than their elders, and more educated individuals sooner than the less educated. The welfare reform of 1989 appears to have reduced significantly the rate of exit among participants under 30. Returns onto welfare generally occur shortly after exit, and at a rate which diminishes rapidly with time. Finally, we propose a measure of welfare dependence which comes up being almost twice as large for single-parent families as for all other categories.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université Laval - Département d'économique in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 9817.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:lvl:laeccr:9817

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Keywords: Social Assistance; Social Policy; Welfare Dynamics; Duration Analysis;

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Cited by:
  1. Irvine, Ian & Finnie, Ross & Sceviour, Roger, 2004. "La dynamique de l'aide sociale au Canada : le role des attributs individuels et des variables economiques et politiques," Direction des etudes analytiques : documents de recherche 2004231f, Statistics Canada, Direction des etudes analytiques.
  2. Irvine, Ian & Finnie, Ross & Sceviour, Roger, 2005. "Social Assistance Use in Canada: National and Provincial Trends in Incidence, Entry and Exit," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2005245e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  3. Centre for the Study of Living Standards, 2002. "The Impact of the National Child Benefit Supplement on the Low Income Status of Canadian Families with Children: The SPSD/M Results," CSLS Research Reports 02cb, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
  4. Irvine, Ian & Finnie, Ross & Sceviour, Roger, 2004. "Welfare Dynamics in Canada: The Role of Individual Attributes and Economic-policy Variables," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2004231e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  5. Ross Finnie & Ian Irvine, 2008. "The Welfare Enigma: Explaining the Dramatic Decline in Canadians' Use of Social Assistance, 1993-2005," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 267, June.
  6. Bernard Fortin & Guy Lacroix & Jean-François Thibault, 1999. "The Interaction of UI and Welfare, and the Dynamics of Welfare Participation of Single Parents," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 25(s1), pages 115-132, November.

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