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Labour Supply and Welfare Participation in Australian Two-Adult Households: Accounting for Involuntary Unemployment and the 'Cost' of Part-time Work

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  • Guyonne R. Kalb

Abstract

We estimate a simultaneous discrete choice model for welfare participation and labour supply of two-adult households in Australia using the Income and Housing Costs Survey of 1994/1995. In this paper only unemployment-related welfare payments are considered. Welfare participation is assumed to have a positive indirect effect (through income) and a negative direct effect on utility. This approach allows for non-participation of eligible people. An earlier developed labour supply and welfare participation model is extended in this paper by adding employment equations to account for involuntary unemployment. In addition, a part-time penalty term is included in the utility function to allow for monetary or non-monetary costs of working part time and the number of discrete choices is increased. The first two extensions seem to improve the model's ability to simulate the correct distribution of actual labour supply. Without these extensions, labour force non-participation is under-estimated and the number of people in part-time employment is over-estimated. The results indicate that there is evidence of a significant disutility associated with welfare participation for all specifications of the model. We also find that a change in the benefit withdrawal rate or the maximum benefit level does not seem to have a large effect on the actual labour supply of either adult.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Victoria University, Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre in its series Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre Working Papers with number bp-35.

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Date of creation: Oct 2000
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Handle: RePEc:cop:wpaper:bp-35

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  1. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  2. Moffitt, Robert, 1983. "An Economic Model of Welfare Stigma," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1023-35, December.
  3. Wales, T J & Woodland, A D, 1976. "Estimation of Household Utility Functions and Labor Supply Response," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 17(2), pages 397-410, June.
  4. M. Keane & R. Moffitt, . "A structural model of multiple welfare program participation and labor supply," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1080-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  5. Paul A. Hagstrom, 1996. "The Food Stamp Participation and Labor Supply of Married Couples: An Empirical Analysis of Joint Decisions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(2), pages 383-403.
  6. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Julian McCrae & Costas Meghir, 2000. "The labour market impact of the working families’ tax credit," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 75-103, March.
  7. Duclos, Jean-Yves, 1997. "Estimating and Testing a Model of Welfare Participation: The Case of Supplementary Benefits in Britain," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(253), pages 81-100, February.
  8. Hilary Hoynes, 1993. "Welfare Transfers in Two-Parent Families: Labor Supply and Welfare Participation Under AFDC-UP," NBER Working Papers 4407, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Fraker, Thomas & Moffitt, Robert, 1988. "The effect of food stamps on labor supply : A bivariate selection model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 25-56, February.
  10. Eyland, E A & Mason, C A & Lapsley, H M, 1982. "Determinants of Female Employment," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 58(160), pages 11-17, March.
  11. Laisney, François & Lechner, Michael & van Soest, Arthur & Wagenhals, Gerhard, 1993. "A Life Cycle Labour Supply Model with Taxes Estimated on German Panel Data: The Case of Parallel Preferences," ZEW Discussion Papers 93-01, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  12. Hausman, Jerry A., 1979. "The econometrics of labor supply on convex budget sets," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 171-174.
  13. Arthur van Soest, 1995. "Structural Models of Family Labor Supply: A Discrete Choice Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 63-88.
  14. Michael Charette & Ronald Meng, 1994. "The Determinants of Welfare Participation of Female Heads of Household in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(2), pages 290-306, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Guyonne Kalb, 2002. "Estimation of Labour Supply Models for Four Separate Groups in the Australian Population," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2002n24, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  2. Robert Breunig & Deborah Cobb-Clark & Xiaodong Gong, 2005. "Improving the Modeling of Couples' Labour Supply," CEPR Discussion Papers 499, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  3. Guyonne Kalb & Rosanna Scutella, 2002. "Estimation of Wage Equations in Australia: Allowing for Censored Observations of Labour Supply," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2002n08, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  4. Colombino, Ugo, 2011. "Five Issues in the Design of Income Support Mechanisms: The Case of Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 6059, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Guyonne Kalb & Rosanna Scutella, 2003. "Wage and Employment Rates in New Zealand from 1991 to 2001," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n13, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  6. Guyonne Kalb & Rosanna Scutella, 2003. "New Zealand Labour Supply from 1991-2001: An Analysis Based on a Discrete Choice Structural Utility Model," Treasury Working Paper Series 03/23, New Zealand Treasury.

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