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Social employment of welfare recipients in Belgium: an evaluation

  • Cockx, Bart

    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))

  • Ridder, Geert

    (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam)

In Belgium welfare agencies are subsidized to employ welfare recipients for a period sufficiently long to entitle them to benefits of the contributory social insurance program. This type of employment is called Social Employment (SE). This paper investigates the effect of SE on the exit rate from welfare. We extend the minimum chi-square approach of Cockx (1995) for grouped duration data to deal with selection into SE at any instant during the welfare spell. Moreover, we introduce a specification error as in Amemiya and Nold (1975) to account for omitted variables, which may be correlated with the selection into SE. We show that a variable that is not correlated with the omitted variables, but affects the probability of selection into SE identifies the SE-effect, and we propose a consistent estimator of this effect that is free of selection bias. We argue that region is such a variable, because in Belgium regional governments determine the subsidy for SE, which affects the participation rate in SE by some political process without consideration of the average characteristics of the welfare recipients in their region. The empirical analysis discovers creaming in the selection process. Without correction for selectivity we find that SE reduces welfare dependency. After correction this conclusion is reversed. These results are in line with the incentives faced by the welfare agencies, that administer the program.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 1996018.

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Length: 28
Date of creation: 01 Jul 1996
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:1996018
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  1. Imbens, G. & Van Der Klaauw, W., 1993. "Evaluating the Cost of Conscription in the Netherlands," Working Papers 93-24, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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  13. Stephen H. Bell & Larry L. Orr, 1994. "Is Subsidized Employment Cost Effective for Welfare Recipients? Experimental Evidence from Seven State Demonstrations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(1), pages 42-61.
  14. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1993. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," NBER Working Papers 4509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Cockx, Bart, 1990. "The Analysis of Transition Data by the Minimum Chi-Square Method. An Application to Welfare Spells in Belgium," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1995008, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), revised 00 Mar 1995.
  16. Gueron, Judith M, 1990. "Work and Welfare: Lessons on Employment Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 79-98, Winter.
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