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Evaluating the Cost-Effectiveness of In-Work Benefits: A Simulation Study for Switzerland

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  • Michael Gerfin
  • Robert E. Leu

Abstract

Income support for working low-income families (the 'working poor') is on top of the political agenda in Switzerland. The current social assistance system is considered inadequate to support working poor households. Several European countries have introduced in-work benefits in order to make work pay. Based on a structural labour supply model, this paper provides microsimulation results of the effects of introducing different schemes of in-work benefits. It turns out that adding a minimum hours requirement to the current social assistance system is the most cost-effective reform. One-third of expected costs can be attributed to behavioural changes in labour supply. Copyright Verein für Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Gerfin & Robert E. Leu, 2007. "Evaluating the Cost-Effectiveness of In-Work Benefits: A Simulation Study for Switzerland," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8, pages 447-467, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:8:y:2007:i::p:447-467
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bargain, Olivier & Orsini, Kristian, 2006. "In-work policies in Europe: Killing two birds with one stone?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 667-697, December.
    2. David Neumark & William Wascher, 2002. "Do Minimum Wages Fight Poverty?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(3), pages 315-333, July.
    3. 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.
    4. Keane, Michael & Moffitt, Robert, 1998. "A Structural Model of Multiple Welfare Program Participation and Labor Supply," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(3), pages 553-589, August.
    5. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
    6. Vermeulen, Frederic, 2002. " Collective Household Models: Principles and Main Results," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(4), pages 533-564, September.
    7. Michael Gerfin & Robert E. Leu, 2003. "The Impact of In-Work Benefits on Poverty and Household Labour Supply. A simulation study for Switzerland," Diskussionsschriften dp0304, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    8. Ilmakunnas, Seija & Pudney, Stephen, 1990. "A model of female labour supply in the presence of hours restrictions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 183-210, March.
    9. Gerfin, Michael, 1993. "A Simultaneous Discrete Choice Model of Labor Supply and Wages for Married Women in Switzerland," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 337-356.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brigitte Baalen & Tobias Müller, 2014. "Social welfare effects of tax-benefit reform under endogenous participation and unemployment: an ordinal approach," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(2), pages 198-227, April.
    2. Shun-ichiro Bessho & Masayoshi Hayashi, 2015. "Should the Japanese tax system be more progressive? An evaluation using the simulated SMCFs based on the discrete choice model of labor supply," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(1), pages 144-175, February.
    3. Shun-ichiro Bessho & Masayoshi Hayashi, 2011. "Should Japanese Tax System Be More Progressive?," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd10-181, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

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