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Social Assistance Use in Canada: National and Provincial Trends in Incidence, Entry and Exit

  • Irvine, Ian
  • Finnie, Ross
  • Sceviour, Roger

Canada witnessed a dramatic decline in welfare participation from 1993/94 to the end of the nineties - one almost on a par with the U.S., but without the sort of landmark legislation adopted there. We explore the dynamics of Social Assistance usage in Canada over this period using data based on tax files for between 2 and 4 million individuals in each year from Canada's Longitudinal Administrative Data - the LAD. The unique attributes of this base - size, longitudinal nature, and income information availability - allow us, for the first time, to calculate annual incidence, entry and exit rates both at the national and provincial levels, broken down by family type. We discuss the variety of experiences of these groups; we identify the policy context and discuss the implications of the findings.

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File URL: http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/olc-cel/olc.action?ObjId=11F0019M2005245&ObjType=46&lang=en&limit=0
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Paper provided by Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch in its series Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series with number 2005245e.

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Date of creation: 30 May 2005
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Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:2005245e
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  1. 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.
  2. Christofides, L.N. & Stengos, T. & Swidinsky, R., 1996. "Welfare Participation and Labour Market Behaviour in Canada," Working Papers 1996-6, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
  3. Picot, Garnett & Frenette, Marc, 2003. "Life After Welfare: The Economic Well-being of Welfare Leavers in Canada During the 1990s," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2003192e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  4. Jennifer Stewart & Martin Dooley, . "The Duration of Spells on Welfare and Off-welfare among Lone Mothers in Ontario," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 21, McMaster University.
  5. Susan E Mayer, 2000. "Why Welfare Caseloads Fluctuate: A Review of Research on AFDC, SSI, and the Food Stamps Program," Treasury Working Paper Series 00/07, New Zealand Treasury.
  6. Ross Finnie & Arthur Sweetman, 2003. "Poverty dynamics: empirical evidence for Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(2), pages 291-325, May.
  7. Robert Moffitt, 2002. "Welfare Programs and Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 9168, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1105-1166, December.
  9. Jacob A. Klerman & Steven J. Haider, 2001. "A Stock-Flow Analysis of the Welfare Caseload: Insights from California Economic Conditions," Working Papers 01-02, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  10. Michael Charette & Ronald Meng, 1994. "The Determinants of Welfare Participation of Female Heads of Household in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(2), pages 290-306, May.
  11. Moffitt, Robert, 1992. "Incentive Effects of the U.S. Welfare System: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 1-61, March.
  12. Lindbeck, Assar, 1995. "Hazardous Welfare-State Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 9-15, May.
  13. Lars Osberg, 2000. "Poverty in Canada and the United States: measurement, trends, and implications," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(4), pages 847-877, November.
  14. Duclos, Jean-Yves & Fortin, Bernard & Lacroix, Guy & Roberge, Hélène, 1998. "The Dynamics of Welfare Participation in Québec," Cahiers de recherche 9817, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  15. Finnie, R. & Gray, D., 1998. "The Dynamics of the Earnings Distribution in Canada: An Econometric Analysis," Working Papers 9803e, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  16. Barrett, Garry F., 2000. "The effect of educational attainment on welfare dependence: Evidence from Canada," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 209-232, August.
  17. Finnie, Ross & Beach, Charles M., 2004. "A Longitudinal Analysis of Earnings Change in Canada," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2004227e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
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