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Health-related effects of welfare-to-work policies

  • Ayala, Luis
  • Rodríguez, Magdalena

Non-health related policies may have consequences for health that are more important than the outcomes they were originally designed to produce. In this paper we evaluate the effects of welfare-to-work programs (WTW) on physical and mental health status and a variety of health behaviors. The paper is based on data from the minimum income program of Madrid's Government (IMI). We match the program's administrative records (39,200 households) – covering the whole history of the program from the second half of 1990 to 2001 – with a specific survey of former recipients who took part in different work-related activities conducted in 2001 (2300 households). We perform propensity score matching to find that both health status – including physical and mental health problems – and behaviors outcomes were modestly better for those individuals who had taken part in work-related activities. These results offer support for the contention that welfare-to-work policies may have positive unintended health effects.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

Volume (Year): 93 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 103-112

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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:93:y:2013:i:c:p:103-112
DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.05.037
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