Does Leaving Welfare Improve Health? Evidence for Germany

39 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2009

See all articles by Martin Huber

Martin Huber

University of Fribourg

Michael Lechner

University of St. Gallen - Swiss Institute for Empirical Economic Research

Conny Wunsch

University of Basel; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); University of St. Gallen

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Abstract

Using exceptionally rich linked administrative and survey information on German welfare recipients we investigate the health effects of transitions from welfare to employment and of assignments to welfare-to-work programmes. Applying semi-parametric propensity score matching estimators we find that employment substantially increases (mental) health. The positive effects are mainly driven by males and individuals with bad initial health conditions and are largest for males with poor health. In contrast, the effects of welfare-to-work programmes, including subsidized jobs, are ambiguous and statistically insignificant for most outcomes. Robustness checks that include a semi-parametric instrumental variable approach do not provide reasons for concern.

Keywords: welfare programs, health effects

JEL Classification: I38, J68, I10

Suggested Citation

Huber, Martin and Lechner, Michael and Wunsch, Conny, Does Leaving Welfare Improve Health? Evidence for Germany. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4370, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1455532

Martin Huber

University of Fribourg ( email )

Bd de PĂ©rolles 90
Fribourg, Fribourg CH-1700
Switzerland

Michael Lechner (Contact Author)

University of St. Gallen - Swiss Institute for Empirical Economic Research ( email )

Varnbuelstrasse 14
St. Gallen, 9000
Switzerland
+41 71 224 2320 (Phone)

Conny Wunsch

University of Basel ( email )

Petersplatz 1
Basel, CH-4003
Switzerland

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

University of St. Gallen ( email )

Dufourstrasse 50
St. Gallen, 9000
Switzerland

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