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Welfare Reform, Returns to Experience, and Wages: Using Reservation Wages to Account for Sample Selection Bias

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  • Jeffrey Grogger

    (Harris School, University of Chicago)

Abstract

One rationale for work-focused welfare reform was human capital theory: work today should raise experience tomorrow, which should raise future wage offers and reduce welfare dependency. Yet few studies have estimated the effect of welfare reform on wages. I approach the problem using a novel sample selection estimator based on reservation wage data. Reservation wages solve the selection problem using bivariate censored regression methods without the need for exclusion restrictions. Whereas OLS and conventional sample selection estimates suggest that reform had little effect on wages, the reservation-wage-adjusted estimates suggest that Florida's welfare reform experiment raised wages by about 4%. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/rest.91.3.490
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 91 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 490-502

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:91:y:2009:i:3:p:490-502

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  1. David Card & Dean R. Hyslop, 2005. "Estimating the Effects of a Time-Limited Earnings Subsidy for Welfare-Leavers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(6), pages 1723-1770, November.
  2. Hurd, Michael D, 1999. "Anchoring and Acquiescence Bias in Measuring Assets in Household Surveys," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 111-36, December.
  3. David Card & Charles Michalopoulos & Philip K. Robins, 2001. "The Limits to Wage Growth: Measuring the Growth Rate of Wages For Recent Welfare Leavers," NBER Working Papers 8444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Light, Audrey & Ureta, Manuelita, 1995. "Early-Career Work Experience and Gender Wage Differentials," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 121-54, January.
  5. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Newey, Whitney K., 1987. "Efficient estimation of limited dependent variable models with endogenous explanatory variables," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 231-250, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Cockx, Bart & Robin, Stéphane R. & Goebel, Christian, 2006. "Income Support Policies for Part-Time Workers: A Stepping-Stone to Regular Jobs? An Application to Young Long-Term Unemployed Women in Belgium," IZA Discussion Papers 2432, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. B. Cockx & C. Goebel & S. Robin, 2009. "Is income support for part-time workers a steppingstone to regular jobs? An application to young long-term unemployed women," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 09/561, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  3. Phillip K. Robins & David H. Greenberg, 2006. "Incorporating Nonmarket Time Into Benefit-Cost Analyses of Social Programs: An Application to the Self-Sufficiency Project," Working Papers 0714, University of Miami, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2007.
  4. Jill Marie Gunderson & Julie L. Hotchkiss, 2006. "Welfare recipiency, job separation outcomes, and postseparation earnings: insight from linked personnel and state administrative data," Working Paper 2006-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  5. Bart Cockx & Christian Goebel & Stéphane Robin, 2013. "Can income support for part-time workers serve as a stepping-stone to regular jobs? An application to young long-term unemployed women," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 189-229, February.
  6. Jeffrey Zabel & Saul Schwartz & Stephen Donald, 2013. "An analysis of the impact of the self-sufficiency project on wages," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 231-259, February.

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