Économie et Statistique n° 346-347 - 2001The RMI: between redistribution and incentives
Minimum Integration Income Recipients: less Family and Social Isolation than in the Administrative Statistics
A number of INSEE household surveys include receiving minimum integration income in their questionnaires. Yet, despite their different survey protocol, none of them manage to come to a satisfactory coverage rate for this specific population. Conversely, administrative sources collect only those characteristics required to calculate the allowances to which minimum integration income applicants are entitled. They are hence highly unsatisfactory when it comes to accurately describing recipients' work and living conditions. Consequently, INSEE's survey in January and September 1998 of what becomes of people who sign off from minimum integration income can be used to make an original comparison. The survey covers a representative sample of minimum integration income recipients who signed on with a family allowance fund in mainland France on 31 December 1996. The comparison can be made between the administrative data taken from the family allowance fund files, used as a sampling base, and the data collected from interviews with the beneficiaries included in the surveyed sample. This fills a large gap in the statistical observation of a population receiving an allowance that is still the subject of heated political debate over ten years after it was created. This comparison of survey data with administrative data sheds new light in particular on the families of minimum integration income recipients. The isolation of minimum integration income recipients hence becomes extremely relative. In most cases, administrative isolation (lone minimum integration income household) does not stand for family isolation (person alone in the household) and even less so for social isolation.