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A new targeting - a new take-up? : non-take-up of social assistance in Germany after social policy reforms


  • Bruckmeier, Kerstin

    () (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])

  • Wiemers, Jürgen

    () (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])


"We present first estimates of rates of non-take-up for social assistance in Germany after the implementation of major social policy reforms in 2005. The analysis is based on a microsimulation model, which includes a detailed description of the German social assistance programme. Our findings suggest a moderate decrease in non-take-up compared to estimates before the reform. In order to identify the determinants of claiming social assistance, we estimate a model of take-up behaviour which considers potential endogeneity of the benefit level. The estimations reveal that the degree of needs, measured as the social assistance benefit level a household is eligible for, and the expected duration of eligibility are the key determinants of the take-up decision, while costs of claiming seem to play a minor role." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))

Suggested Citation

  • 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].
  • Handle: RePEc:iab:iabdpa:201110

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Blundell, Richard & Fry, Vanessa & Walker, Ian, 1987. "Modelling the Take-up of Means-tested Benefits: the Case of Housing Benefits in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(390), pages 58-74, Supplemen.
    2. 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.
    3. Viktor Steiner & Katharina Wrohlich & Peter Haan & Johannes Geyer, 2008. "Documentation of the Tax-Benefit Microsimulation Model STSM: Version 2008," Data Documentation 31, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Arntz, Melanie & Clauss, Markus & Kraus, Margit & Schnabel, Reinhold & Spermann, Alexander & Wiemers, Jürgen, 2007. "Arbeitsangebotseffekte und Verteilungswirkungen der Hartz-IV-Reform," IAB-Forschungsbericht 200710, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    5. 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," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 734, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Pablo Antolín & Thai-Thanh Dang & Howard Oxley, 1999. "Poverty Dynamics in Four OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 212, OECD Publishing.
    7. 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.
    8. Stephen Whelan, 2010. "The take-up of means-tested income support," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 847-875, December.
    9. Patricia M. Anderson & Bruce D. Meyer, 1997. "Unemployment Insurance Takeup Rates and the After-Tax Value of Benefits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 913-937.
    10. Viktor Steiner & Peter Haan & Katharina Wrohlich, 2005. "Dokumentation des Steuer-Transfer-Mikrosimulationsmodells STSM 1999 - 2002," Data Documentation 9, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    11. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:40:i:1:p:45-64 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Robert G. Valletta, 2006. "The Ins And Outs Of Poverty In Advanced Economies: Government Policy And Poverty Dynamics In Canada, Germany, Great Britain, And The United States," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 52(2), pages 261-284, June.
    13. 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).
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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Caliendo & Jens Hogenacker & Steffen Künn & Frank Wießner, 2012. "Alte Idee, neues Programm: Der Gründungszuschuss als Nachfolger von Überbrückungsgeld und Ich-AG," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 45(2), pages 99-123, July.
    2. Olivier Bargain & Tim Callan & Karina Doorley & Claire Keane, 2017. "Changes in Income Distributions and the Role of Tax‐Benefit Policy During the Great Recession: An International Perspective," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 38, pages 559-585, December.
    3. 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.
    4. Kerstin Bruckmeier & Jürgen Wiemers, 2012. "A new targeting: a new take-up?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 565-580, October.
    5. 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


    Hartz-Reform - Auswirkungen; Sozialleistungen - Inanspruchnahme; Grundsicherung nach SGB II; Grundsicherung nach SGB XII; Leistungsempfänger - Quote; Leistungsanspruch; Leistungshöhe; Leistungsbezug - Dauer; Anspruchsvoraussetzung;

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General

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