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Measuring Worker Disincentives: Taxes, Benefits and the Transition into Employment


Author Info

  • Alfred Michael Dockery

    (Curtin University)

  • Rachel Ong

    (Curtin University)

  • Gavin Wood

    (RMIT University)


Disincentives to employment participation arising from the tax-benefit system have been a major concern for welfare reform. Data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey are used to generate and test the robustness of three commonly used disincentive measures for non-working Australians: effective marginal tax rates, replacement rates and participation tax rates. The results of transition models suggest financial disincentives as measured in the current period have a large effect on employment outcomes one year later, and the replacement rate is the preferred measure for modelling disincentives facing the unemployed. While attracting most attention in the welfare-to-work debate, effective marginal tax rates are found to be an inappropriate measure of work disincentives facing the non-employed.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School in its journal Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE).

Volume (Year): 14 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 265-288

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Handle: RePEc:ozl:journl:v:14:y:2011:i:3:p:265-288

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Related research

Keywords: Welfare and Poverty Government Programs Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs Unemployment Models; Duration; Incidence; and Job Search Time Allocation and Labor Supply;

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Cited by:
  1. Rachel Ong & Gavin Wood & Melek Cigdem, 2013. "Work incentives and decisions to remain in paid work in Australia," Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre Working Paper series WP1312, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School.


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