The route to take-up: raising incentives or lowering barriers?. Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, vol. 2008-35, pp. 1-46
Viable routes to increase the take-up of cash transfer programs include raising the financial incentive to claim and reducing claiming barriers. Older people’s response to both is evaluated exploiting the introduction of Pension Credit in the UK. The reform involved improved application assistance, simplified claiming procedure, extended recertification interval, less intrusive reporting requirements and outreach campaigning; also, the cash entitlement was increased for a subgroup of pensioners. The behavioral response is identified using Family Resources Survey data. Results support the effectiveness of financial incentives, while no effect is found in the case of reducing barriers policies when unaccompanied by financial incentives.