Understanding long spells of welfare recipiency: Selection vs. true state dependence

Project leader

Funding source

Forte - Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2007
End date: 31/12/2009
Funding: 2325000 SEK


The aim of the project is to study the causes of long durations of SA recipiency. The primary questions are: 1) Is there a ‘selection’ into long-term recipiency so that the reason for long durations lies in characteristics that makes outflow unlikely (e.g., low education)?; and 2) Is there, given such characteristics, also a duration dependence in SA recipiency, i.e. an effect of SA recipiency itself, so that people who experience SA get less likely to get out of it? I will also study: 2a) the potential mechanisms behind duration dependence. In public debate, the emphasis is on psychological mechanisms, such as passivation.. However, there are alternative mechanisms, e.g. human capital depreciation; and 2b) whether the mechanisms behind long SA durations differ in different groups.

To explain long benefit durations is of immediate social policy relevance, and it is also of academic interest as it speaks to issues of human behaviour in the light of different kinds of constraints and opportunities. Previous research suggests that some duration dependence exists in benefit recipiency, but authors do generally not have data that allow for appropriate controls. I have longitudinal data for a large population for the period 1990 to 2003, which allow control for selection due to unobserved time-invariant characteristics through so-called fixed effect models. Thus, the project can contribute with new and reliable knowledge that has been asked for both in public debate and in academia.

Last updated on 2017-24-03 at 11:57