Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
  • Publication
    No claim, no pain - measuring the non-take-up of social assistance using register data
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2009-12) ; ;
    The main objectives of social assistance bene…fits, including poverty alleviation and labor-market or social reintegration, can be seriously compromised if support is difficult to access. While recent studies point to high non-take-up rates, existing evidence does not make full use of the information recorded by benefi…t agencies. Most studies have to rely on interview-based data, with misreporting and measurement errors affecting the variables needed to establish both bene…fit receipt and benefi…t entitlement. In this paper, we exploit a unique combination of Finnish administrative data and eligibility simulations based on the tax-benefi…t calculator of the Finnish authorities, carefully investigating the measurement issues that remain. We …nd rates of non-take-up that are both substantial and robust: 40% to 50% of those eligible do not claim. Using repeated cross-section estimations for years 1996-2003, we identify a set of stable determinants of claiming behavior and suggest that changes in behavior could drive the observed downward trend in take-up rates during the post-recession period. We discuss the poverty implications of our results.
  • Publication
    Distributional consequences of labor demand adjustments to a downturn : a model-based approach with application to Germany 2008-09
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2010-10) ; ; ;
    Macro-level changes can have substantial effects on the distribution of resources at the household level. While it is possible to speculate about which groups are likely to be hardest-hit, detailed distributional studies are still largely backward-looking. This paper suggests a straightforward approach to gauge the distributional and fiscal implications of large output changes at an early stage. We illustrate the method with an evaluation of the impact of the 2008-2009 crisis in Germany. We take as a starting point a very detailed administrative matched employer-employee dataset to estimate labor demand and predict the effects of output shocks at a disaggregated level. The predicted employment effects are then transposed to household-level microdata, in order to analyze the incidence of rising unemployment and reduced working hours on poverty and inequality. We focus on two alternative scenarios of the labor demand adjustment process, one based on reductions in hours (intensive margin) and close to the German experience, and the other assuming extensive margin adjustments that take place through layoffs (close to the US situation). Our results suggest that the distributional and fiscal consequences are less severe when labor demand reacts along the intensive margin.
  • Publication
    How tight are safety-nets in Nordic countries? : evidence from Finnish register data
    (University College Dublin; School of Economics, 2007-08) ; ;
    The non take-up of social assistance benefits due to claim costs may seriously limit the anti-poverty effect of these programs. Yet, available evidence is fragmented and mostly relies on interview-based data, potentially biased by misreporting and measurement errors on both bene…t entitlement and income levels used to assess eligibility. In this paper, we use Finnish administrative data to compare eligibility and actual receipt of social assistance by working-age families during the post-recession period (1996-2003). Possible errors due to time-period issues and discretionary measures by local agencies are carefully investigated. Non take-up is found to be substantial (between 40% and 50%) and increasing during the period. Using repeated cross-section estimations, we identify a set of stable determinants of claiming behavior and suggest that the increasing trend is mainly due to a composition effect, i.e. a decline in the proportion of groups with higher claiming propensity. We…finally discuss the targeting efficiency of the social assistance scheme.