Take-Up of Social Benefits: Causes, Consequences, and Trade-Offs Conference

August 19–20, 2010, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Issues associated with the take-up of social benefits have been of longstanding interest to many researchers, and the recent economic downturn has re-kindled interest in differences within and across states. This small working conference will bring together researchers and practitioners to examine the factors that influence the take-up of social benefits, including policy-related factors such as eligibility requirements; practical issues such as administrative procedures; availability of public resources committed to public benefits; and individual choices, which are affected by such factors as social “stigma” and other transaction costs. Ultimately, conference participants will consider the implications of the differences in take-up rates within and across states for program effectiveness and for poverty policy more generally.

Salient ideas drawn from the conference discussion will be made available on this Web site in 2010.

This conference is being organized by Jennifer Noyes and Timothy Smeeding, with financial support from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.