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Punitive Sanctions and the Transition Rate from Welfare to Work


  • Gerard J. van den Berg

    () (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and CEPR)

  • Bas van der Klaauw

    () (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Jan C. van Ours

    (CentER, Tilburg University and CEPR)


In the Netherlands, the average exit rate out of welfare is dramatically low. Most welfare recipients have to comply with guidelines on job search effort that are imposed by the welfare agency. If they do not, then a sanction in the form of a temporary benefit reduction can be imposed. This article investigates the effect of such sanctions on the transition rate from welfare to work using a unique set of rich register data on welfare recipients. We find that the imposition of sanctions substantially increases the individual transition rate from welfare to work. This discussion paper has resulted in a publication in the Journal of Labor Economics , 2004, 22(1), 211-241.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerard J. van den Berg & Bas van der Klaauw & Jan C. van Ours, 1998. "Punitive Sanctions and the Transition Rate from Welfare to Work," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 98-076/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:19980076

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • K31 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Labor Law


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