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To Claim or Not to Claim: Estimating Non-take-up of Social Assistance in Germany and the Role of Measurement Error

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  • Joachim R. Frick
  • Olaf Groh-Samberg

Abstract

Using representative micro data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) for the year 2002, we analyse non-take-up behaviour of Social Assistance (SA) inGermany. According to our simulation as much as 67 percent of the eligible population did not claim SA in that year which is slightly higher than reported in previous work. We particularly emphasize the role of measurement error in estimating non-take-up. First, we consider misspecifications of the simulation model due, e.g., to households claiming to have received SA although not simulated as eligible ("beta-error"). Second, we employ sensitivity analyses revealing the impact of measurement errors in reported household income and wealth as well as in simulated needs. Misreported household incomes appear to have the greatest impact on the estimated non-take-up rates, as shown in Monte-Carlo-type simulations. Regression analysis of the potential determinants of non-take-up behaviour confirm that rational motives - i.e., the expected net utility from claiming - as well as stigma and other barriers play a crucial role in explaining the puzzle of large non-take-up rates of SA.

Suggested Citation

  • Joachim R. Frick & Olaf Groh-Samberg, 2007. "To Claim or Not to Claim: Estimating Non-take-up of Social Assistance in Germany and the Role of Measurement Error," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 53, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp53
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hilke Almut Kayser & Joachim R. Frick, 2000. "Take It or Leave It: (Non-) Take-up Behavior of Social Assistance in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 210, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Joachim R. Frick & Ulrich Rendtel & Gert G. Wagner, 1993. "Eine Strategie zur Kontrolle von Längsschnittgewichtungen am Beispiel des Sozio-ökonomischen Panels (SOEP)," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 80, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Wilde Joachim & Kubis Alexander, 2005. "Nichtinanspruchnahme von Sozialhilfe. Eine empirische Analyse des Unerwarteten / Non-take-up Behavior of Social Assistance in Germany. An Empirical Investigation of Unexpected Reactions," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 225(3), pages 347-373, June.
    4. Riphahn, Regina T., 2000. "Rational Poverty or Poor Rationality? The Take-up of Social Assistance Benefits," IZA Discussion Papers 124, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fuest Clemens & Peichl Andreas, 2008. "Grundeinkommen vs. Kombilohn: Beschäftigungs- und Finanzierungswirkungen und Unterschiede im Empfängerkreis," Review of Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 59(2), pages 94-113, August.
    2. repec:zbw:rwirep:0117 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bruckmeier, Kerstin & Wiemers, Jürgen, 2016. "Differences in welfare take-up between immigrants and natives : a microsimulation study," IAB Discussion Paper 201608, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    4. 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].
    5. Herber, Stefanie P. & Kalinowski, Michael, 2016. "Non-take-up of Student Financial Aid: A Microsimulation for Germany," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145727, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Bruckmeier, Kerstin & Wiemers, Jürgen, 2011. "A new targeting - a new take-up? : non-take-up of social assistance in Germany after social policy reforms," IAB Discussion Paper 201110, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    7. Regina T. Riphahn & Christoph Wunder, 2016. "State dependence in welfare receipt: transitions before and after a reform," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 50(4), pages 1303-1329, June.
    8. Becker, Irene & Schüssler, Reinhard, 2014. "Das Grundsicherungsniveau: Ergebnis der Verteilungsentwicklung und normativer Setzungen. Eine empirische Analyse auf Basis der EVS 2003 und 2008," Arbeitspapiere 298, Hans-Böckler-Stiftung, Düsseldorf.
    9. Wunder, Christoph & Riphahn, Regina, 2013. "Welfare transitions before and after reforms of the German welfare system," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79715, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Stefanie P. Herber & Michael Kalinowski, 2016. "Non-Take-Up of Student Financial Aid: A Microsimulation for Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 844, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    11. Sylvain Chareyron & Patrick Domingues, 2015. "Take-up of Social Assistance Benefits: The case of Homeless," TEPP Working Paper 2015-07, TEPP.
    12. Kerstin Bruckmeier & Jürgen Wiemers, 2010. "A New Targeting - A New Take-Up?: Non-take-up of Social Assistance in Germany after Social Policy Reforms," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 294, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    13. Bruckmeier, Kerstin & Wiemers, Jürgen, 2016. "Differences in welfare take-up between immigrants and natives," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145828, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    14. Becker, Irene & Hauser, Richard, 2012. "Kindergrundsicherung, Kindergeld und Kinderzuschlag: Eine vergleichende Analyse aktueller Reformvorschläge," WSI Working Papers 180, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.
    15. Kerstin Bruckmeier & Jürgen Wiemers, 2012. "A new targeting: a new take-up?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 565-580, October.
    16. Herber, Stefanie P. & Kalinowski, Michael, 2016. "Non-take-up of student financial aid: A microsimulation for Germany," BERG Working Paper Series 109, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    17. Kassenböhmer, Sonja C. & Haisken-DeNew, John P., 2009. "Social Jealousy and Stigma: Negative Externalities of Social Assistance Payments in Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 117, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    18. 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.
    19. Sonja C. Kassenboehmer & John P. Haisken-DeNew, 2009. "Social Jealousy and Stigma: Negative Externalities of Social Assistance Payments in Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 0117, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    20. Becker, Irene, 2015. "Der Einfluss verdeckter Armut auf das Grundsicherungsniveau," Arbeitspapiere 309, Hans-Böckler-Stiftung, Düsseldorf.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Non-take-up; social assistance; measurement error; microsimulation; SOEP;

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General

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