IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Dynamic effects of mandatory activation of welfare participants


  • Persson, Anna

    () (Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies)

  • Vikman, Ulrika

    () (Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies)


Previous literature shows that activation requirements for welfare participants decrease welfare participation. However, the dynamics have not been examined, and often only exit effects are analyzed. In this paper, we look more closely at the transition rates into and out of welfare. Using register data on the entire population of Stockholm, we are able to capture how both entry and exit rates were affected when activation requirements were introduced at different times in Stockholm’s city districts. The results indicate that the main reduction in welfare participation is due to a small increase in exit rates. The part of the population that is at risk of entering into welfare, though, experiences a reduction in entry rates due to the reform. There are also heterogeneous effects, namely, large effects on entry rates for young individuals. In addition, there are larger effects on exit rates for unmarried individuals without children compared to the population as a whole.

Suggested Citation

  • Persson, Anna & Vikman, Ulrika, 2010. "Dynamic effects of mandatory activation of welfare participants," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2010:5, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:uufswp:2010_005

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1992. "Workfare versus Welfare Incentive Arguments for Work Requirements in Poverty-Alleviation Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 249-261, March.
    2. Brett, Craig, 1998. "Who Should Be on Workfare? The Use of Work Requirements as Part of an Optimal Tax Mix," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 607-622, October.
    3. Jorgen Hansen & Magnus Lofstrom, 2011. "Immigrant–Native Differences in Welfare Participation: The Role of Entry and Exit Rates," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 412-442, July.
    4. Stephen G. Donald & Kevin Lang, 2007. "Inference with Difference-in-Differences and Other Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 221-233, May.
    5. Van den Berg, Gerard J., 2001. "Duration models: specification, identification and multiple durations," Handbook of Econometrics,in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 55, pages 3381-3460 Elsevier.
    6. Katherine Cuff, 2000. "Optimality of workfare with heterogeneous preferences," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(1), pages 149-174, February.
    7. Jorgen Hansen & Magnus Lofstrom, 2003. "Immigrant Assimilation and Welfare Participation Do Immigrants Assimilate Into or Out of Welfare?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(1).
    8. Chambers, Robert G., 1989. "Workfare or welfare?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 79-97, October.
    9. Karin Edmark, 2009. "Migration Effects of Welfare Benefit Reform," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(3), pages 511-526, September.
    10. Dahlberg, Matz & Johansson, Kajsa & Mörk, Eva, 2008. "On mandatory activation of welfare receivers," Working Paper Series 2008:13, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    11. Jonah B. Gelbach, 2004. "Migration, the Life Cycle, and State Benefits: How Low Is the Bottom?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 1091-1130, October.
    12. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1105-1166, December.
    13. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2003. "Cluster-Sample Methods in Applied Econometrics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 133-138, May.
    14. Jeffrey Grogger & Steven J. Haider & Jacob Klerman, 2003. "Why Did the Welfare Rolls Fall During the 1990's? The Importance of Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 288-292, May.
    15. McKinnish, Terra, 2007. "Welfare-induced migration at state borders: New evidence from micro-data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 437-450, April.
    16. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey A. Smith & Mark C. Berger & Brett J. Noel, 2003. "Is the Threat of Reemployment Services More Effective Than the Services Themselves? Evidence from Random Assignment in the UI System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1313-1327, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Persson, Anna, 2011. "Earnings, income and poverty among welfare leavers in Sweden," Working Paper Series 2011:17, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    2. Egbert Jongen & Emile Cammeraat (Leiden University) & Pierre Koning (Leiden University), 2017. "Preventing NEETs During the Great Recession: The Effects of a Mandatory Activation Program for Young Welfare Recipients," CPB Discussion Paper 365, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

    More about this item


    Welfare reform; mandatory activation program; welfare entry; welfare exit;

    JEL classification:

    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:uufswp:2010_005. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Katarina Grönvall). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.