Could the impact of a public policy help us to evaluate the changes implemented? An analysis of non-take-up of the Spanish minimum income schemes

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International Centre for Economic Analysis
This paper provides new evidence on why people who are eligible for a benefit do not claim it, commonly referred to as 'non-take-up'. It examines the relationship between the characteristics of the Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI) and the non-take-up rate of these benefits. The study examines five main causal conditions in the design of a GMI: the amount of the benefit, the duration of the benefit, the administration's resolution times, the documentation requirements and an aggregation of supply-side factors. The sample used corresponds to the 19 existing regional GMI programmes in Spain. The existence of relationships between causal conditions is tested using the Fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (FsQCA) methodology. The results show that there are three different combinations of conditions that lead to less than 45% coverage of a GMI. With these results, it is possible to evaluate ex ante whether the Spanish Vital Minimum Income (VMI) can avoid the non-take-up problem of other GMIs in Spain. We find that the features of the VMI are different from the combinations of causal conditions that lead to the failings of the GMI's coverage rate.
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