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Caught in the trap? Welfare's disincentive and the labor supply of single men

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  • Bargain, Olivier
  • Doorley, Karina

Abstract

Youth unemployment is particularly large in many industrialized countries and has dramatic consequences in both the short and long-term. While there is abundant evidence about the labor supply of married women and single mothers, little is known about how young (childless) singles react to financial incentives. The French minimum income (Revenu Minimum d'Insertion, RMI), often accused of generating strong disincentives to work, offers a natural setting to study this question since childless single individuals, primarily males, constitute the core group of recipients. Exploiting the fact that childless adults under age 25 are not eligible for this program, we conduct a regression discontinuity analysis using French Census data. We find that the RMI reduces the participation of uneducated single men by 7–10% at age 25. We conduct an extensive robustness check and discuss the implications of our results for youth unemployment and current policy developments.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2011)
Issue (Month): 9 ()
Pages: 1096-1110

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:9:p:1096-1110

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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Keywords: Regression discontinuity; Welfare; Social assistance; Labor supply;

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Cited by:
  1. Bargain, Olivier & Doorley, Karina, 2013. "Putting Structure on the RD Design: Social Transfers and Youth Inactivity in France," IZA Discussion Papers 7508, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Olivier Bargain & Mathias Dolls & Dirk Neumann & Andreas Peichl & Sebastian Siegloch, 2011. "Tax-Benefit Systems in Europe and the US: Between Equity and Efficiency," CESifo Working Paper Series 3534, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Leibbrandt, Murray & Lilenstein, Kezia & Shenker, Callie & Woolard, Ingrid, 2013. "The influence of social transfers on labour supply: A South African and international review," SALDRU Working Papers 112, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.

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