As part of the Universal Credit evaluation strategy a panel study has been proposed. This study would allow the Department for Work and Pensions to monitor the impact of Universal Credit on the same group of people over a period of time. From this it would be possible to identify:
changes in behaviour and attitudes to work, work search, benefits and money management
whether policies to smooth the transition to work are having the required effect
whether individuals understand the benefit system and their behaviour in response to Universal Credit conditionality
A feasibility study was considered to be necessary before commissioning such a study because panel studies are complex and potentially resource intensive.
Authors: Heather Laurie, Nick Buck, Jonathon Burton, Violetta Parutis, Mark Bryan, Peter Lugtig and Mike Brewer – all at the University of Essex, Institute for Social and Economic Research.