Social assistance: No, thanks?

The non-take-up phenomenon and its patterns in Austria, Germany and Finland after 2000




Fuchs, M. (2009). Social Assistance No, Thanks? The Non-Take-up Phenomenon and its Patterns in Austria, Germany and Finland after 2000. Policy Brief 9/2009. Vienna: European Centre.


Based on the comparison of detailed micro-data (EU-SILC, SOEP, IDS) and potential entitlements simulated with tax/benefit microsimulation models (EUROMOD, model DIW, TUJA), the Policy Brief estimates the size of non-take-up of monetary social assistance benefits in Austria, Germany and Finland after 2000. To account for likely measurement errors both in the reported income data as well as in the simulation of household needs, participation rates are calculated for various scenarios of the underlying parameters.

In all three countries we find that more than half of all households potentially entitled to the benefit do not claim. The determinants of non-take-up analysed in different regression models confirm hypotheses derived from theoretical models of take-up related to pecuniary determinants, information and administration costs as well as psychological costs, although some differences between the countries were found.

Further reading:
Fuchs M., Nicht-Inanspruchnahme von Sozialleistungen am Beispiel der Sozialhilfe, in: Dimmel N., Heitzmann K., Schenk M. (eds.), Handbuch Armut in Österreich, Studienverlag Innsbruck 2009, 290-301.
Fuchs M., Social Assistance – no, thanks? Empirical Analysis of Non-Take-Up in Austria 2003, EUROMOD Working Paper No. EM4/07.