MULTIPLE OCURRENCE OF WELFARE RECIPIENCY: DETERMINANTS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS
. The question of wether or not a high percentage of recipients return to welfare programmes has attracted great attention from economists and policymakers. Using data gathered for the minimum income programme of the Madrid Government, this paper aims to broach various questions arising from the issue of welfare recidivism. After setting out a theoretical framework alternative to models based on single spells and presenting the combined effect of the recipients’ first spell, macroeconomic conditions and socio-demographic characteristics, various econometric procedures are used to answer two fundamental questions: which characteristics have an influence over the probability of returning to the programmes, and what factors determine that the off-welfare duration should differ substantially among recidivist households. The simulations conducted with alternative scenarios place policymakers chances of lengthening the off-welfare spells if macroeconomic shocks occur into perspective. However, the experience of the first spell and, to a lesser extent, employability can indeed contribute towards lengthening the time former recipients spend outside the programme.
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