Take-up Down Under: Hits and Misses of Means-Tested Benefits in Australia
2005 (English)In: European Sociological Review, ISSN 0266-7215, E-ISSN 1468-2672, Vol. 22, no 4, 443-458 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Research has revealed considerable non-take-up rates of benefits in western welfare states, which has raised concern that benefits fail to reach their objectives. Most research has focused on means-tested benefits, partly because they are believed to be subject to high stigma deterring people from take-up. I study the take-up of such benefits in Australia, where virtually all cash benefits are means-tested. Using data from the first two waves of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics Australia (HILDA) survey, I estimate the general take-up rate of benefits among people with low assets and incomes and carry out a detailed analysis of take-up of one particular benefit, Parenting Payment. Contrary to the traditional conception of selective welfare states as highly stigmatizing, I find no evidence of a particularly low degree of take-up, and I suggest that stigma of means-tested benefits in Australia may on average be low because they target a relatively large proportion of the population. However, non-take-up appears to be considerable in some population categories where stigma is likely to be relatively high.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford Journals , 2005. Vol. 22, no 4, 443-458 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-22632DOI: 10.1093/esr/jcl007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-22632DiVA: diva2:189190
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-10132006-05-052006-05-052010-10-25Bibliographically approved