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Human Well-being and In-Work Benefits: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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  • Dorsett, Richard

    ()
    (National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR))

  • Oswald, Andrew J.

    ()
    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

Many politicians believe they can intervene in the economy to improve people's lives. But can they? In a social experiment carried out in the United Kingdom, extensive in-work support was randomly assigned among 16,000 disadvantaged people. We follow a sub-sample of 3,500 single parents for 5 ensuing years. The results reveal a remarkable, and troubling, finding. Long after eligibility had ceased, the treated individuals had substantially lower psychological well-being, worried more about money, and were increasingly prone to debt. Thus helping people apparently hurt them. We discuss a behavioral framework consistent with our findings and reflect on implications for policy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7943.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7943

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Keywords: randomized controlled trials; government policy; in-work benefits; wage subsidies; well-being; happiness;

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  1. Human Well-being and In-Work Benefits: A Randomized Controlled Trial
    by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2014-03-11 13:40:25

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