"To take or not to take?" Naar een beter begrip van de institutionele en persoonlijke hindernissen bij het aanvragen van uitkeringen. 01/10/2017 - 30/09/2018


Social benefits targeted at the poor are an important part of modern welfare states. However, recent evidence shows that in many European countries only a fraction of those that are supposed to benefit, take up their social rights. Yet, we have relatively little insight into what drives nontake- up and how policy design can be improved so as to increase take-up. Furthermore, research on this topic, especially in Belgium, is rather scarce. This is unfortunate, because non-take-up undermines the effectiveness of public policies, and a better understanding of non-take-up could make a significant contribution to further insights into economic behaviour of households and their interaction with the welfare state. Therefore, the main objective of this research proposal is to investigate non-take-up of Belgian social assistance schemes and to make progress on three dimensions on which we lack evidence: 1) the size (how big is the problem?), 2) the causes (how can it be explained?) and 3) the solutions (what can be done?). To do so, I will build on the latest theoretical insights, collect and analyse new and existing administrative and survey data, and make use of both microsimulation techniques and field experiments. The results will allow us to a) generate new insights into the economic behaviour of households in general, and the non-take up of social benefits in particular; and b) inform policy makers on how to make existing policy measures more effective for reducing poverty.



Project type(s)

  • Onderzoeksproject