IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Measuring and Explaining the Limited Take-up of the Housing Benefit in the Netherlands


  • Jan Rouwendal

    () (Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Free University Amsterdam)


It is well known that the take-up rate of the Dutch housing benefit and othermeans tested benefits is substantially below 100%. In order to measure non-take up oneusually has to simulate entitlement to the benefits. In this paper we take a closer look atthe quality of the simulation. We find evidence that simulation error is much moreimportant than has often been assumed in earlier studies. These studies use the simulationof entitlement in order to select the sample on which an explanatory model for the take-updecision is based. Simulation error may therefore lead to biases in the explanatoryanalysis. Our analysis suggests that a discrepancy between the income that is reported inour database and the income on which the decision to apply for the benefit is based is animportant source of simulation error.The data that were available for this study contain information about refused applicationsand therefore allow us to estimate a richer model than is conventionally used for theanalysis of take-up rates. In this model both the decision of a renting household to applyfor the benefit and that of the authorities to grant or refuse the subsidy are analyzed.Estimation results for this model differ from that of the first.A third model is explicitly based on the assumption that the decision-making processes arebased on an income level that may be different from that reported in the data. Forhouseholds that receive the housing benefit we can compute this alternative income. Thisthird model can be estimated if it is assumed that the same joint distribution of the twoincomes is relevant for households who did not apply for the benefit. Estimation resultsfor this model are again different from those of the other two. They suggest thatmeasurement error in rent, received benefits or housing composition are also more importantthat has been thought.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Rouwendal, 2002. "Measuring and Explaining the Limited Take-up of the Housing Benefit in the Netherlands," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-033/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20020033

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Housing benefit; means-tested benefits; non-take-up;

    JEL classification:

    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20020033. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Tinbergen Office +31 (0)10-4088900). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.