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A Reinterpretation of the Traditional Income-Leisure Model, with Application to In Kind Subsidy Programs

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  • Michael P. Murray

Abstract

The traditional income-leisure model treats income as a composite commodity; it is not appropriate for studying commodity subsidies which alter relative prices within the composite. I suggest reinterpreting the traditional model as a special case of a utility function weakly separable with respect to leisure and all other commodities. This interpretation allows the work incentive effects of any subsidy program to be inferred from the terms of the program and data on the work effort effects of any other subside program, most notably income maintenance experiments. I illustrate our approach by estimating the work incentive effects of public housing. The model implies that even if special complementarities between leisure or work and the subsidized good are neglected, in kind transfers will have different work incentive effects than equivalent cash transfers. In practice, in kind transfers will generally stimulate work efforts vis-a-vis equivalent cash grants.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Queen's University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 307.

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Length: 24
Date of creation: 1978
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:307

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Cited by:
  1. Jie Chen, 2006. "The Dynamics of Housing Allowance Claims in Sweden: A Discrete Time-Hazard Analysis," European Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 1-29, April.
  2. Janet Currie & Firouz Gahvari, 2008. "Transfers in Cash and In-Kind: Theory Meets the Data," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(2), pages 333-83, June.
  3. Robert Moffitt, 2002. "Welfare Programs and Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 9168, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Gonzalez-Cossio, Teresa, 2008. "The Impacts of Cash and In-Kind Transfers on Consumption and Labor Supply: Experimental Evidence from Rural Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4778, The World Bank.
  5. Sandra J. Newman, 2008. "Does housing matter for poor families? A critical summary of research and issues still to be resolved," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(4), pages 895-925.

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