Researchers at the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Essex used data from the British Household Panel Survey, which has interviewed the same people annually since 1991, to look at histories of receipt of benefits such as Income Support and Job Seekers Allowance.
The team found that, among those who were receiving safety net benefits, the fraction with health problems increased from around 53% in the early 1990s to 76% in 2005. Another stark change was the decline in the percentage of beneficiaries who own their own home, which approximately halved over the same period – from 41% to 23%.
In a detailed examination of the trends, Professor Stephen Jenkins and Dr Lorenzo Cappellari found that the fall in the percentage of working age adults receiving safety net benefits was due mainly to a decline in the rate of entry into benefit receipt between one year and the next. This offset the effect of a fall in the rate at which people left the benefit system between one year and the next – which would otherwise tend to increase the number of benefit recipients.
Commenting on the research, commissioned by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Professor Jenkins said: “Our findings show that, although safety net social security benefits are received by fewer people than before, those who do end up receiving them are increasingly those who are more likely to be stuck on benefits for a long time.”
Professor Jenkins believes that a significant part of the fall in the proportion of working age adults receiving safety net social security benefits can be explained by a downward trend in the number of people without educational qualifications, and improvements in the state of the economy since the early 1990s.
The Labour government’s “welfare to work” policies aimed at increasing employment rates and making work pay are also likely to have played some role in explaining these trends. But ISER’s detailed analysis of the trends shows that these policy changes are only part of the story. “The timing of changes in rates of movement onto and off benefit do not match up with the dates of introduction of policies such as tax credits. More research on specific policies and groups at risk is needed here,” Professor Jenkins said.
Christine Garrington | alfa
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
22.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
22.01.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.01.2018 | Life Sciences