Duration Dependence and the Role of Parental Social Assistance Receipt: Social Assistance Dynamics among Young Adults in Finland

Ilari Ilmakunnas , University of Turku

Social assistance as a last-resort means tested benefit is used to provide an acceptable standard of living for households and families whose incomes would otherwise be insufficient. Studies have illustrated that young adults are particularly vulnerable to social assistance recipiency. The aim of this study is to analyze whether there is ‘genuine’ duration dependence in social assistance receipt among young adults in Finland. ‘Genuine’ duration dependence implies that the length of social assistance spell reduces the likelihood of exiting from social assistance regardless of individual characteristics. Previous studies on duration dependence are scarce. Additionally, duration dependence has not been analyzed focusing particularly on young adults. Another contribution of this study is that it is analyzed whether parental social assistance receipt is associated with duration dependence. This study utilizes Finnish register data. The analyses are based on a 25 percent random sample of individuals born between 1982 and 1987. This study utilizes full monthly history of social assistance receipt during young adulthood. The analyses are conducted using discrete-time event history models considering individual-level frailty and repeated spells. Preliminary findings illustrate that there are signs of ‘genuine’ duration dependence. Parental social assistance receipt is associated with lower odds of experiencing an exit from social assistance. However, parental social assistance receipt is not associated with the effect of the length of a social assistance spell after taking into account unobserved heterogeneity.

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 Presented in Session 112. Intergenerational Linkages across the Life Course