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A new targeting: a new take-up?

Non-take-up of social assistance in Germany after social policy reforms


We present first estimates of rates of non-take-up for social assistance in Germany after the implementation of major social policy reforms in 2005. The analysis is based on a microsimulation model, which includes a detailed description of the German social assistance programme. Our findings suggest a moderate decrease in non-take-up compared to estimates before the reform. In order to identify the determinants of claiming social assistance, we estimate a model of take-up behaviour which considers endogeneity of the benefit level. The estimations reveal that the degree of needs, measured as the social assistance benefit level a household is eligible for, and the expected duration of eligibility are the key determinants of the take-up decision, while costs of claiming seem to play a minor role.

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Correspondence to Kerstin Bruckmeier.

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Bruckmeier, K., Wiemers, J. A new targeting: a new take-up?. Empir Econ 43, 565–580 (2012).

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  • Non-take-up
  • Social assistance
  • Welfare
  • Microsimulation