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Does Leaving Welfare Improve Health? Evidence for Germany

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  • Huber, Martin

    () (University of Fribourg)

  • Lechner, Michael

    () (University of St. Gallen)

  • Wunsch, Conny

    () (University of Basel)

Abstract

Using exceptionally rich linked administrative and survey information on German welfare recipients we investigate the health effects of transitions from welfare to employment and of assignments to welfare-to-work programmes. Applying semi-parametric propensity score matching estimators we find that employment substantially increases (mental) health. The positive effects are mainly driven by males and individuals with bad initial health conditions and are largest for males with poor health. In contrast, the effects of welfare-to-work programmes, including subsidized jobs, are ambiguous and statistically insignificant for most outcomes. Robustness checks that include a semi-parametric instrumental variable approach do not provide reasons for concern.

Suggested Citation

  • Huber, Martin & Lechner, Michael & Wunsch, Conny, 2009. "Does Leaving Welfare Improve Health? Evidence for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 4370, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4370
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Arndt Reichert & Harald Tauchmann, 2011. "The Causal Impact of Fear of Unemployment on Psychological Health," Ruhr Economic Papers 0266, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    2. Huber, Martin & Lechner, Michael & Wunsch, Conny, 2015. "Workplace health promotion and labour market performance of employees," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 170-189.
    3. Eggs, Johannes, 2013. "Unemployment benefit II, unemployment and health," IAB Discussion Paper 201312, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    4. Huber, Martin & Lechner, Michael & Wunsch, Conny, 2013. "The Effect of Firms' Partial Retirement Policies on the Labour Market Outcomes of Their Employees," IZA Discussion Papers 7513, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Schmitz, Hendrik, 2011. "Why are the unemployed in worse health? The causal effect of unemployment on health," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 71-78, January.
    6. Achatz, Juliane & Trappmann, Mark, 2011. "Arbeitsmarktvermittelte Abgänge aus der Grundsicherung : der Einfluss von personen- und haushaltsgebundenen Barrieren," IAB Discussion Paper 201102, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    7. Huber, Martin & Lechner, Michael & Wunsch, Conny, 2013. "The performance of estimators based on the propensity score," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 175(1), pages 1-21.
    8. Martin Huber & Michael Lechner & Andreas Steinmayr, 2015. "Radius matching on the propensity score with bias adjustment: tuning parameters and finite sample behaviour," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 1-31, August.
    9. Reichert, Arndt R. & Tauchmann, Harald, 2017. "Workforce reduction, subjective job insecurity, and mental health," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 187-212.
    10. Curnock, Esther & Leyland, Alastair H. & Popham, Frank, 2016. "The impact on health of employment and welfare transitions for those receiving out-of-work disability benefits in the UK," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 1-10.
    11. Reichert, Arndt & Tauchmann, Harald, 2011. "The Causal Impact of Fear of Unemployment on Psychological Health," Ruhr Economic Papers 266, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    12. Ayala, Luis & Rodríguez, Magdalena, 2013. "Health-related effects of welfare-to-work policies," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 103-112.
    13. Gebel, Michael & Voßemer, Jonas, 2014. "The impact of employment transitions on health in Germany. A difference-in-differences propensity score matching approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 128-136.
    14. Huber, Martin, 2012. "Identifying causal mechanisms in experiments (primarily) based on inverse probability weighting," Economics Working Paper Series 1213, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science, revised May 2013.
    15. Crost, Benjamin, 2016. "Can workfare programs offset the negative effect of unemployment on subjective well-being?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 42-47.
    16. repec:zbw:rwirep:0266 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Schiele, Valentin & Schmitz, Hendrik, 2016. "Quantile treatment effects of job loss on health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 59-69.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    health effects; welfare programs;

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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