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Are Recipients of Social Assistance 'Benefit Dependent'? Concepts, Measurement and Results for Selected Countries

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  • Immervoll, Herwig

    (OECD)

  • Jenkins, Stephen P.

    (London School of Economics)

  • Königs, Sebastian

    (OECD)

Abstract

Means-tested Social Assistance (SA) benefits play an important role as social protection floors supporting households in financial difficulties. This paper presents evidence on the patterns of SA benefit receipt in a selection of OECD and EU countries. It provides an overview of the role of SA benefits in social protection systems and assesses the generosity of benefit payments. It then studies the dynamics of SA benefit receipt based on micro-level data describing trends in aggregate receipt and transition rates and presenting new evidence on spell durations and repeat spells. The final part of the paper summarizes recent empirical evidence on state dependence (or 'scarring effects') in benefit receipt and discusses its possible sources and policy implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Immervoll, Herwig & Jenkins, Stephen P. & Königs, Sebastian, 2015. "Are Recipients of Social Assistance 'Benefit Dependent'? Concepts, Measurement and Results for Selected Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 8786, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8786
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    Cited by:

    1. Massimo Baldini & Elizabeth Jane Casabianca & Elena Giarda & Lorenzo Lusignoli, 2018. "The Impact of REI on Italian Households' Income: A Micro and Macro Evaluation," Politica economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 103-134.
    2. Watson, Dorothy & Maître, Bertrand & Grotti, Raffaele & Whelan, Christopher T., 2018. "Poverty Dynamics of Social Risk Groups in the EU: an analysis of the EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions, 2005 to 2014," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT345.
    3. Massimo Baldini & Elizabeth J. Casabianca & Elena Giarda & Lorenzo Lusignoli, 2018. "The impact of REI on Italian households’ income: A micro and macro evaluation," Department of Economics 0126, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    4. Adeline Otto, 2018. "A Benefit Recipiency Approach to Analysing Differences and Similarities in European Welfare Provision," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 137(2), pages 765-788, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    social assistance; welfare benefits; state dependence; benefit dependence; scarring;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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