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ERIC Number: EJ871944
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-0276-8739
Does Inconvenience Explain Low Take-up? Evidence from Unemployment Insurance
Ebenstein, Avraham; Stange, Kevin
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, v29 n1 p111-136 Win 2010
Application inconvenience is one popular explanation for why many individuals do not receive the social benefits for which they are eligible. Applications take time and some individuals may decide that the financial benefits do not outweigh these time costs. This paper investigates this explanation using cross-state variation in administrative changes that made applying for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits substantially more convenient over the past decade. We find that the introduction of phone- and Internet-based claiming did not have an appreciable impact on overall UI take-up, nor did it lead to a shift toward recipients that are higher income or likely to be receiving the maximum benefit amount. These findings are inconsistent with a time- and transaction-cost explanation for low take-up, since remote UI claiming is less time intensive. This suggests that reducing application barriers alone may not be an effective tool for increasing program participation. (Contains 8 tables, 14 figures and 27 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A