Non-take-up Behavior of Social Assistance in Germany - An Empirical Investigation of Unexpected Reactions

Concerning German social assistance earlier studies calculate a non-take-up rate of more than 50 percent. This contradicts intuition. Using data from the low-income panel we estimate eligibility and non-take-up rate more precisely. However, avoiding simulation errors of earlier studies reduces the rate only slightly. Therefore, we estimate a multiple probit model to explain the nontake- up behavior. Significant reasons are low claims, stigma and the expectation of a short life of eligibility. Additionally, we show a significant simultaneous relation between earned income and the tendency to participate in social assistance. The sign is negative in both directions.

01. July 2005

Authors Joachim Wilde Alexander Kubis

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