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Raising Take-Up of Social Assistance Benefits through a Simple Mailing: Evidence from a French Field Experiment

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  • Sylvain Chareyron
  • David Gray
  • Yannick L’Horty

Abstract

This paper deals with the puzzling phenomenon of an unduly low take-up rate for social assistance benefits in France. We focus on a particular facet of this phenomenon, namely the frequent failure of recipients to comply with a requirement after entering the regime, which in turn can lead to losing their entitlement to benefits. In order to investigate this phenomenon, we conduct an experimental evaluation taking the form of a randomized control trial involving the influences of informational availability and complexity of the regime?s regulations. The two distinct treatments consist of changes in the information set which is sent to households just after they enter the regime. We seek to discern behavioral responses to these particular ?nudges?. Our findings suggest that a costless action on the part of program administrators might be able to increase take-up for certain types of beneficiaries???in our case young men and people living in rural areas. In order to be effective, however, these interventions should target households with certain attributes.

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  • Sylvain Chareyron & David Gray & Yannick L’Horty, 2018. "Raising Take-Up of Social Assistance Benefits through a Simple Mailing: Evidence from a French Field Experiment," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 128(5), pages 777-805.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:repdal:redp_285_0777
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Denis Anne, 2019. "Aides à la mobilité et insertion sociale," Erudite Ph.D Dissertations, Erudite, number ph19-03 edited by Yannick L'Horty, November.
    2. B. Boutchenik & R. Lardeux, 2020. "The Take-Up of Unemployment Benefit Extensions," Documents de Travail de l'Insee - INSEE Working Papers g2020-02, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques.

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