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Economics

Social Assistance and Minimum Income Levels and Replacement Rates Dataset

The Social Assistance and Minimum Income Levels and Replacement Rates Dataset, assembled by Jinxian Wang and Olaf van Vliet (version December 2016), provides data on minimum income benefit schemes in 33 countries from 1990 until 2009.

The dataset provides two new indicators for international comparisons of minimum income benefits (real benefit levels and replacement rates) based on data from Nelson’s dataset (2013). The minimum income replacement rates are comparable to unemployment replacement rates (Van Vliet and Caminada, 2012). Details regarding the calculations are provided in the documentation and the data file.    

Countries
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States.        

Program
The dataset and codebook contain information on social assistance and minimum income benefits. Data is provided for net minimum income benefit levels and net minimum income replacement rates for three household types. Following Nelson (2013), net minimum income benefits are defined as the net income from a benefit package consisting of basic social assistance, child supplements, refundable tax credits, and other benefits.

Time period
Information on minimum income replacement rates and benefit levels is in most cases provided for the period 1990-2009.

Household types
The dataset contains data for three different household types: single person households, lone parent households with two children, and two parent households with two children.

Methodology
Data on minimum income benefits is based on Nelson’s (2013) dataset. The institutional information in this dataset is based on national sources and legislation. In order to compare benefit levels (the first indicator) across countries and over time, all benefit levels are transferred into U.S. dollars, adjusted for purchasing power (PPP) and inflation (CPI 2005 = 100). The second indicator, the net minimum income replacement rate, is defined as the ratio of net minimum income benefits to the net average wage. The net average production worker wage refers to the in-work wage after deducting taxes. This approach is comparable to the approach that has been used for the construction of unemployment benefit replacement rates (Van Vliet and Caminada, 2012).

Data file
The data file is presented in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet file. The file consists of a worksheet with summary statistics, the variable list, and two worksheets with data.    

Citation
Reference to the data may be made to: Jinxian Wang and Olaf van Vliet (2016) Social assistance and minimum income benefits: Benefit levels, replacement rates and policies across 26 OECD countries, 1990-2009European Journal of Social Security 18(4): 333-555.    

Questions / contact
Any questions about the Social Assistance and Minimum Income Levels and Replacement Rates Dataset may be addressed to:

  • Jinxian Wang, Department of Economics, Leiden University, PO Box 9520, 2300 RA Leiden, the Netherlands.
  • Olaf van Vliet, Department of Economics, Leiden University, PO Box 9520, 2300 RA Leiden, the Netherlands.

Recent papers and publications based on the Social Assistance and Minimum Income Levels and Replacement Rates Dataset

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