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Administrative data on income assistance

Linked administrative data on characteristics of those applying for and receiving benefits from WINZ as well as payments from the IRD such as paid parental leave and Working for Families. Obviously such data would need to be de-identified, but would ideally include information on demographics and employment history. Given the large number of observations, the data would perhaps be best broken into a dataset for each year going back as far as is possible but at least 10-15 years. Observations would be individuals, and variables would include the length of time the individual had received the relevant form(s) of income assistance that year. Individuals would be assigned a unique identifier that is consistent between years so as to allow longitudinal analysis.

New Zealand welfare policy is topical and controversial. Researchers whose interests lie in this area are currently limited to small samples from various surveys performed by Statistics New Zealand. The evidence that informs policy is therefore limited as many experts are unable to contribute.

Allowing social scientists access to this data will lead to insights that could be used to increase the effectiveness of policy.

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