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Title: The dynamics of social assistance benefit receipt
Author: Konigs, Sebastian
ISNI:       0000 0004 3629 8478
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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This dissertation consists of three articles on social assistance benefit receipt dynamics in European countries. The first article presents an analysis of state dependence in benefit receipt in Germany based on annual survey data from the German Socio-Economic Panel. The observation period extends from 1995 to 2011, thus covering the 2005 'Hartz reforms'. I estimate a series of dynamic random-effects probit models to control for observed and unobserved heterogeneity and the endogeneity of initial conditions. The high observed state dependence has a substantial structural component, with benefit receipt one year ago being associated with an increase in the likelihood of receipt today by 13 percentage points. There is only little evidence for time-variation in state dependence. The second article presents evidence on spell durations and the frequency of repeat spells using monthly administrative data from Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. In the two Nordic countries, short-term benefit receipt is the norm, with only around 6% and 11% of spells in Norway and Sweden lasting longer than 12 months. Most recipients however have multiple spells. In Luxembourg and the Netherlands, long-term benefit receipt is frequent, with median spell durations of 14 and 9 months, respectively, and one-third and one-quarter of all spells lasting 24 months or longer. The total duration of benefit receipt across spells is much higher in the Netherlands and Luxembourg than in Norway and Sweden. The third article tests the validity of one of the central assumptions of dynamic discrete-choice models of benefit dynamics, the conditional Markov property. Using monthly administrative data from Norway, the article shows that the Markov property is violated as estimated state dependence is affected by the chosen time unit of analysis. The standard model can be improved by permitting for different entry and persistence equations and duration and occurrence dependence in benefit receipt.
Supervisor: Atkinson, Tony; Bond, Steve Sponsor: German Academic Exchange Service ; Department of Economics, University of Oxford
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Labour economics ; Social Policy ; Applied Econometrics ; Islamic art ; Social Assistance Benefits ; Welfare Benefits ; Minimum-Income Benefits ; Benefit Dynamics ; State Dependence