Improving drastically take up of social benefits through a simple mail: evidence from a French field experiment
Sylvain Chareyron  1, 2@  
Université Paris-Est : EA437
2 : Travail, Emploi et Politiques Publiques  (TEPP)  -  Site web
Université Paris-Est

We address the role of information in the weak take-up rate of the program. We assess specifically the influence of informational complexity and informational shortage with a randomized control trial. We evaluate response to mailings distributed to 4,032 households claiming the RSA allowance and entering the income support program between October 2014 and March 2015. While the receipt of the simplified mail do not led to significant additional interview attendance, attempts to increase perceived program utility by bringing new information give more contrasted results. Young men increase substantially their participation to the guidance interview. It improves take-up from 0.55 to 0.67 for this category. The effect is not significant for older people or for young women. The study suggest that costless actions are able to substantially increase take-up. To be effective, these actions need to target households according to their needs.

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