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Effects of Government Policies on Income Distribution and Welfare

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  • Wu, Ximing
  • Perloff, Jeffrey M.
  • Golan, Amos

Abstract

A parametric and a semiparametric model produce qualitatively similar estimates of government policy effects on income distribution and welfare (as measured by the Gini, standard deviation of logarithms, relative mean deviation, coefficient of variation, and various Atkinson indexes). Taxes and the Earned Income Tax Credit are an effective way to redistribute income to the poor and raise welfare. The minimum wage lowers welfare. Social insurance programs have little effect except for Supplemental Security Income, which raises welfare. Transfer programs (AFDC/TANF and food stamps) either have no statistically significant effect or lower welfare.

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Paper provided by Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley in its series Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series with number qt6jx7h62v.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt6jx7h62v

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  1. Nada Eissa & Hilary Williamson Hoynes, 1998. "The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Labor Supply of Married Couples," NBER Working Papers 6856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Simon Kuznets, 1950. "Shares of Upper Income Groups in Income and Savings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kuzn50-1, July.
  3. Eissa, Nada & Liebman, Jeffrey B, 1996. "Labor Supply Response to the Earned Income Tax Credit," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 605-37, May.
  4. David Neumark & Mark Schweitzer & William Wascher, 2000. "The Effects of Minimum Wages Throughout the Wage Distribution," NBER Working Papers 7519, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 1999. "Making Single Mothers Work: Recent Tax and Welfare Policy and its Effects," JCPR Working Papers 152, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  6. David Neumark & Mark Schweitzer & William Wascher, 1998. "The Effects of Minimum Wages on the Distribution of Family Incomes: A Non-Parametric Analysis," NBER Working Papers 6536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lee Soltow, 1969. "Six Papers on the Size Distribution of Wealth and Income," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number solt69-1, July.
  8. Richard V. Burkhauser & Kenneth A. Couch & David C. Wittenburg, 1996. "Who gets what from minimum wage hikes: A re-estimation of Card and Krueger's distributional analysis in "Myth and Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage."," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(3), pages 547-552, April.
  9. Jeffrey T. LaFrance, 1999. "Inferring the Nutrient Content of Food With Prior Information," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(3), pages 728-734.
  10. Leonesio, Michael V, 1988. "In-Kind Transfers and Work Incentives," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(4), pages 515-29, October.
  11. Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2000. "Who are the Ineligible EITC Recipients?," JCPR Working Papers 131, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  12. Golan, Amos & Judge, George G. & Miller, Douglas, 1996. "Maximum Entropy Econometrics," Staff General Research Papers 1488, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  13. Cowell, Frank A & Victoria-Feser, Maria-Pia, 1996. "Robustness Properties of Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(1), pages 77-101, January.
  14. Golan, Amos & Judge, George G. & Perloff, Jeffrey M., 1995. "Estimating the size distribution of firms using government summary statistics," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt14b416tk, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  15. Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2000. "Who Are the Ineligible EITC Recipients?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 4), pages 1165-86, December.
  16. Freeman, Richard B, 1996. "The Minimum Wage as a Redistributive Tool," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(436), pages 639-49, May.
  17. Thurow, Lester C, 1970. "Analyzing the American Income Distribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(2), pages 261-69, May.
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  19. Meyer, Bruce D. & Rosenbaum, Dan T., 2000. "Making Single Mothers Work: Recent Tax and Welfare Policy and its Effects," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 4), pages 1027-62, December.
  20. Janice F. Madden, 2000. "Changes in Income Inequality within U.S. Metropolitan Areas," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number cii, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Leigh, Andrew, 2008. "Estimating the impact of gubernatorial partisanship on policy settings and economic outcomes: A regression discontinuity approach," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 256-268, March.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2004. "Inequality and happiness: are Europeans and Americans different?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2009-2042, August.
  3. El-Osta, Hisham S. & Mishra, Ashok K., 2005. "Dimensions of Wealth Dispersion Among Farm Operator Households: An Assessment of the Impact of Farm Subsidies," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 37(01), April.
  4. Andrew Leigh, 2005. "What’s the Difference Between a Donkey and an Elephant? Using Panel Data from US States to Estimate the Impact of Partisanship on Policy Settings and Economic Outcomes," CEPR Discussion Papers 504, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  5. Łukasz Rawdanowicz & Eckhard Wurzel & Ane Kathrine Christensen, 2013. "The Equity Implications of Fiscal Consolidation," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1013, OECD Publishing.
  6. Oguzhan C. Dincer & Peter J. Lambert, 2006. "Taking care of your own: Ethnic and religious heterogeneity and income inequality," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2006-9, University of Oregon Economics Department.
  7. Wu, Ximing & Perloff, Jeffrey M. & Golan, Amos, 2004. "Government Policy Effects on Urban and Rural Income Inequality," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt863448h5, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  8. Minoiu, Camelia & Andres, Antonio Rodriguez, 2008. "The effect of public spending on suicide: Evidence from U.S. state data," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 237-261, February.
  9. Craig Gundersen & James Ziliak, 2004. "Poverty and macroeconomic performance across space, race, and family structure," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 61-86, February.

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