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The Take-Up of Multiple Means-Tested Benefits by British Pensioners: Evidence from the Family Resources Survey

Author

Listed:
  • Ruth Hancock
  • Stephen Pudney
  • Geraldine Barker
  • Monica Hernandez
  • Holly Sutherland

Abstract

Non-take-up of means-tested benefits among pensioners is of long-standing concern. It has assumed increased importance from October 2003 with the introduction of the new means-tested pension credit to which about half of pensioners are expected to be entitled. We use Family Resources Survey data from April 1997 to March 2000 to investigate patterns of pensioner take-up of income support (IS) (subsequently renamed the minimum income guarantee and now subsumed in pension credit), housing benefit (HB) and council tax benefit (CTB). Although 36 per cent of pensioners in our sample failed to claim their entitlements to at least one of these benefits, only 16 per cent failed to claim amounts worth more than 10 per cent of their disposable income. Generally, take-up is high where entitlement is high. But there are exceptions which may reflect the claims process and/or a greater degree of social stigma associated with IS than with HB or CTB.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruth Hancock & Stephen Pudney & Geraldine Barker & Monica Hernandez & Holly Sutherland, 2004. "The Take-Up of Multiple Means-Tested Benefits by British Pensioners: Evidence from the Family Resources Survey," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 25(3), pages 279-303, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:25:y:2004:i:3:p:279-303
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "A perspective on psychology and economics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 657-685, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bargain, Olivier & Immervoll, Herwig & Viitamäki, Heikki, 2007. "How Tight Are Safety-Nets in Nordic Countries? Evidence from Finnish Register Data," IZA Discussion Papers 3004, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Laurence, JACQUET, 2006. "Optimal disability assistance when fraud and stigma matter," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2006052, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    3. Tomer Blumkin & Yoram Margalioth & Efraim Sadka, 2008. "The Role of Stigma in the Design of Welfare Programs," CESifo Working Paper Series 2305, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Terracol, Antoine, 2009. "Guaranteed minimum income and unemployment duration in France," Labour Economics, Elsevier, pages 171-182.
    5. Miles Corak & Christine Lietz & Holly Sutherland, 2005. "The Impact of Tax and Transfer Systems on Children in the European Union," Papers inwopa05/30, Innocenti Working Papers.
    6. Olivier Bargain & Herwig Immervoll & Heikki Viitamäki, 2012. "No claim, no pain. Measuring the non-take-up of social assistance using register data," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, pages 375-395.
    7. Wiemers, Jürgen, 2015. "Endogenizing take-up of social assistance in a microsimulation model : a case study for Germany," IAB Discussion Paper 201520, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    8. Olivier Bargain, 2009. "The distributional effects of tax-benefit policies under New Labour : a Shapley decomposition," Working Papers 200907, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    9. Tomer Blumkin & Efraim Sadka & Yoram Margalioth, 2008. "The Role of Stigma in the Design of Welfare Programs," Working Papers 0806, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
    10. Ewoudou, Jacques & Tsimpo, Clarence & Wodon, Quentin, 2009. "Stigma and the take-up of social programs," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4962, The World Bank.
    11. Michel, DE VROEY, 2006. "Getting Rid of Keynes ? A reflection on the history of macroeconomics," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2006051, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    12. Anthony B. Atkinson & Chrysa Leventi & Brian Nolan & Holly Sutherland & Iva Tasseva, 2017. "Reducing poverty and inequality through tax-benefit reform and the minimum wage: the UK as a case-study," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, pages 303-323.
    13. Jürgen Wiemers, 2015. "Endogenizing take-up of social assistance in a microsimulation model. A case study for Germany," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 8(2), pages 4-27.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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