Carrot and stick: How reemployment bonuses and benefit sanctions affect exit rates from welfare

To increase the exit from welfare, benefit recipients in the municipality of Rotterdam were exposed to various financial incentives. Once their benefit spell exceeded one year, welfare recipients were entitled to a re-employment bonus if they found a job that lasted at least 6 months. However, they could also be punished for noncompliance with eligibility requirements and face a sanction, i.e. a temporary reduction of their benefits. We find that the financial sticks in the form of benefit sanctions were effective in stimulating the exit from welfare, while the financial carrots in the form of re-employment bonuses were not.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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