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Does Leaving Welfare Improve Health? : Evidence for Germany

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.
   
type journal paper
   
keywords Welfare programs, health effects
   
language English
kind of paper journal article
date of appearance 6-2011
journal Health Economics
publisher Wiley (Oxford)
ISSN 1057-9230
ISSN (online) 1099-1050
DOI 10.1002/hec.1615
volume of journal 20
number of issue 4
page(s) 484-504
review double-blind review
   
citation Huber, M., Lechner, M., & Wunsch, C. (2011). Does Leaving Welfare Improve Health?: Evidence for Germany. Health Economics, 20(4), 484-504, DOI:10.1002/hec.1615.