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The Welfare Cost of Means Testing: Pensioner Participation in Income

Author

Listed:
  • Monica Hernandez

    () (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)

  • Stephen Pudney
  • Ruth Hancock

Abstract

We estimate parametric and semi-parametric binary choice models of benefit take-up by British pensioners and use a revealed preference argument to infer the cash-equivalent value of disutility arising from stigma or complexity of the claims process. These implicit costs turn out to be relatively small, averaging about £3-4 per week across Income Support recipients. Using the Foster-Greer-Thorbecke measure of poverty among pensioners, we find that allowing for implicit claim costs incurred by benefit recipients raises the measured degree of poverty by not more than 13%.

Suggested Citation

  • Monica Hernandez & Stephen Pudney & Ruth Hancock, 2006. "The Welfare Cost of Means Testing: Pensioner Participation in Income," Working Papers 2006004, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2006004
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    File URL: http://www.shef.ac.uk/content/1/c6/05/48/10/SERP2006004.pdf
    File Function: First version, 1996
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    File URL: http://www.shef.ac.uk/content/1/c6/05/48/10/SERP2006004.pdf
    File Function: Revised version, 2006
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bargain, Olivier & Immervoll, Herwig & Viitamäki, Heikki, 2007. "How Tight Are Safety-Nets in Nordic Countries? Evidence from Finnish Register Data," IZA Discussion Papers 3004, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Lidia Ceriani & Carlo V. Fiorio & Chiara Gigliarano, 2013. "The importance of choosing the data set for tax-benefit analysis," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 1(6), pages 86-121.
    3. Ewoudou, Jacques & Tsimpo, Clarence & Wodon, Quentin, 2009. "Stigma and the take-up of social programs," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4962, The World Bank.
    4. Olivier Bargain & Herwig Immervoll & Heikki Viitamäki, 2012. "No claim, no pain. Measuring the non-take-up of social assistance using register data," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 10(3), pages 375-395, September.
    5. Zantomio, Francesca, 2008. "The route to take-up: raising incentives or lowering barriers?," ISER Working Paper Series 2008-35, Institute for Social and Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Benefit take-up; Program participation; pensions; welfare; poverty;

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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