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Micro-level dynamics of social assistance receipt. Evidence from 4 European countries

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This paper presents a study of the monthly dynamics of social assistance benefit receipt - in particular the distribution of spell lengths and the incidence of repeat receipt - in four European countries: Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. The analysis is based on four separate administrative panel data sets with long observation periods. Benefit dynamics vary considerably across countries over the eight-year period from January 2001 to December 2008: In the two Nordic countries, short-term benefit receipt is the norm with only around 6% and 11% of spells in Norway and Sweden lasting longer than 12 months. Most recipients however have multiple spells, and the majority of benefit leavers return to benefits within three months of leaving. In Luxembourg and the Netherlands, long-term benefit receipt is frequent, with median spell lengths of 14 and 9 months, respectively, and one-third and one-quarter of all spells lasting 24 months or longer. Benefit leavers in these countries are by contrast much less likely to return to benefit receipt after exit. The total duration of benefit receipt per individual across spells is two to three times as high in the Netherlands and Luxembourg than in Norway and Sweden over the eight-year period.

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Paper provided by Statistics Norway, Research Department in its series Discussion Papers with number 797.

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Date of creation: Feb 2015
Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:797
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  1. repec:eme:rleczz:s0147-912120140000039000 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Cappellari, Lorenzo & Jenkins, Stephen P., 2008. "The Dynamics of Social Assistance Receipt: Measurement and Modelling Issues, with an Application to Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 3765, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Ayala, Luis & Rodriguez, Magdalena, 2007. "Barriers to employment and welfare dynamics: Evidence from Spain," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 237-257.
  4. Hilary Williamson Hoynes, 2000. "Local Labor Markets And Welfare Spells: Do Demand Conditions Matter?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 351-368, August.
  5. Jeffrey Grogger, 2004. "Time Limits and Welfare Use," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  6. Garry F. Barrett & Michael I. Cragg, 1998. "An Untold Story: The Characteristics of Welfare Use in British Columbia," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(1), pages 165-188, February.
  7. Gustafsson, Björn Anders, 2011. "Disparities in Social Assistance Receipt between Immigrants and Natives in Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 6129, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Lorenzo Cappellari & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2014. "The Dynamics of Social Assistance Benefit Receipt in Britain," Research in Labor Economics,in: Safety Nets and Benefit Dependence, volume 39, pages 41-79 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
  9. Blank, Rebecca M & Ruggles, Patricia, 1994. "Short-Term Recidivism among Public-Assistance Recipients," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 49-53, May.
  10. Gottschalk, Peter & Moffitt, Robert A, 1994. "Welfare Dependence: Concepts, Measures, and Trends," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 38-42, May.
  11. 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).
  12. Jeffrey Grogger & Charles Michalopoulos, 2003. "Welfare Dynamics under Time Limits," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 530-554, June.
  13. Blank, Rebecca M., 1989. "Analyzing the length of welfare spells," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 245-273, August.
  14. Manudeep Bhuller & Christian N. Brinch & Sebastian Königs, 2014. "Time aggregation and state dependence in welfare receipt," Discussion Papers 771, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  15. John M. Fitzgerald, 1995. "Local labor markets and local area effects on welfare duration," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(1), pages 43-67.
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