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The impact of tax credits on labour supply

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  • Ghazala Azmat

Abstract

One of the principle aims of the Working Families' Tax Credit in the UK was to increase the participation of single mothers. The literature to date concludes there was approximately a five-percentage-point increase in employment of single mothers. The differences-in-differences methodology that is typically used compares single mother with single women without children. However, the characteristics of these groups are very different, and change over time in relative covariates are likely to violate the identifying assumption. We find that when we control for differential trends between women with and without children, the employment effect of the policy falls significantly. Moreover, the effect is borne solely by those working full-time (30 hours or more), while having no effect on inducing people into the labor market from inactivity. Looking closely at important covariates over time, we can see sizeable changes in the relative returns to employment between the treatment and control groups.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 979.

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Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision: Jul 2009
Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:979

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Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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Keywords: Tax Credits; Differences-in-differences; Single Mothers.;

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  1. Richard Dickens & Alan Manning, 2002. "Has the national minimum wage reduced UK wage inequality?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20079, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Duncan, Alan & Giles, Christopher, 1996. "Labour Supply Incentives and Recent Family Credit Reforms," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(434), pages 142-55, January.
  3. Mike Brewer & Tom Clark & Matthew Wakefield, 2002. "Five years of social security reforms in the UK," IFS Working Papers W02/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Paul Gregg & Susan Harkness & Sarah Smith, 2009. "Welfare Reform and Lone Parents in the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(535), pages F38-F65, 02.
  5. 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.
  6. Francesconi, Marco & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2004. "The Consequences of ‘In-Work’ Benefit Reform in Britain: New Evidence from Panel Data," IZA Discussion Papers 1248, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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