Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Arbetsrapport,
Institute for Futures Studies

No 2008:9: Socialbidragstagandets mönster - en studie av varaktighet och utträden under 2000-talet

Åke Bergmark () and Olof Bäckman ()
Additional contact information
Åke Bergmark: Institute for Futures Studies, Postal: Box 591, SE-101 31 Stockholm, Sweden
Olof Bäckman: Institute for Futures Studies, Postal: Box 591, SE-101 31 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: Long term take-up of means-tested social assistance benefits increased rapidly in Sweden during the economic downturn of the 1990s and is at present established at levels well beyond those we saw before the crisis. In previous analyses of long term social assistance recipients the group has been defined as those with at least ten months of take-up in a calender year. However, this definition lacks the precision we need for a close scrutinsation of patterns of take-up durations and for analyses of transitions from take-up to self-maintenance. As from year 2002 official statistical records of social assist¬ance payments contain information for each month at the individual level. In the article we analyse these data linked to Statistics Sweden’s LISA-database containing information of e.g. education, labour market attachment, and income for the total adult population. The article is primarily descriptive in character and aims at reflecting the patterns of social assis¬tance take-up during the first years of the new century more precisely than what has been possible in previous analyses. The analyses show that how we define both measurements and popu¬la¬tion at risk is of uttermost importance for what results may be obtained. Depending on these definitions median duration of take-up varies between 2 and 19 months. When we look at what type of income maintenance that is established the year after the termination of a take-up spell we find that the shorter the take-up period the more likely it is that the former reci¬pient will have gained at least some foothold in the labour market. However, the probability that he or she will be a student, begin at new period of social assistance take-up, or have an un¬konwn income source, increases by take-up duration. Furthemore, the analyses show that the probability to leave long-term take-up in the 2000s is lower as compared to the beginning of the 1990s.

Keywords: social assistance; benefits

JEL-codes: I30; I32; I38

25 pages, June 2008

Price: 25 SEK

Note: ISSN: 1652-120X; ISBN 978-91-85619-29-0

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