IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ecj/econjl/v116y2006i515pf441-f458.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Welfare work Requirements with Paternalistic Government Preferences

Author

Listed:
  • Robert Moffitt

Abstract

Work requirements in means-tested transfer programmes have grown in importance in the US and in some other countries. The theoretical literature which considers their possible optimality generally operates within a traditional welfarist framework where some function of the utility of the poor is maximised. Here we consider a case where society instead has preferences over the actual work allocations of welfare recipients. Optimality of work requirements is shown to be possible but depends on the accuracy of the screening mechanism which assigns work requirements. Numerical simulations show that accuracy must be high for optimality. Earnings subsidies may also be optimal. Copyright 2006 The Author(s). Journal compilation Royal Economic Society 2006.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Moffitt, 2006. "Welfare work Requirements with Paternalistic Government Preferences," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(515), pages 441-458, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:116:y:2006:i:515:p:f441-f458
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Maderner, N. & Rochet, J.C., 1996. "Is It Legitimate to Encourage Work Sharing?," Papers 96.404, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
    2. Paul Beaudry & Charles Blackorby & Dezsö Szalay, 2009. "Taxes and Employment Subsidies in Optimal Redistribution Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 216-242, March.
    3. Salanie, Bernard, 2002. "Optimal demogrants with imperfect tagging," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 319-324, May.
    4. Louis Kaplow, 2007. "Optimal income transfers," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(3), pages 295-325, June.
    5. 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.
    6. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
    7. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1992. "Workfare versus Welfare Incentive Arguments for Work Requirements in Poverty-Alleviation Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 249-261, March.
    8. Guy Laroque, 2005. "Income Maintenance and Labor Force Participation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 341-376, March.
    9. Chone, Philippe & Laroque, Guy, 2005. "Optimal incentives for labor force participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 395-425, February.
    10. Robert A. Moffitt, 2003. "The Negative Income Tax and the Evolution of U.S. Welfare Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 119-140, Summer.
    11. Fortin, Bernard & Truchon, Michel & Beausejour, Louis, 1993. "On reforming the welfare system : Workfare meets the negative income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 119-151, June.
    12. Katherine Cuff, 2000. "Optimality of workfare with heterogeneous preferences," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(1), pages 149-174, February.
    13. Brett, Craig, 1998. "Who Should Be on Workfare? The Use of Work Requirements as Part of an Optimal Tax Mix," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 607-622, October.
    14. Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1039-1073.
    15. Parsons, Donald O., 1996. "Imperfect 'tagging' in social insurance programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1-2), pages 183-207, October.
    16. Diamond, Peter & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1995. "Economic aspects of optimal disability benefits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 1-23, May.
    17. Hanming Fang & Michael P. Keane, 2004. "Assessing the Impact of Welfare Reform on Single Mothers," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(1), pages 1-116.
    18. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1995. "The Design of Income Maintenance Programmes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(2), pages 187-221.
    19. Maderner, Nina & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1995. " Is It Legitimate to Encourage Work Sharing?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 621-633, December.
    20. Robert A. Moffitt, 2003. "Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number moff03-1, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Aaberge, Rolf & Flood, Lennart, 2013. "U.S. versus Sweden: The Effect of Alternative In-Work Tax Credit Policies on Labour Supply of Single Mothers," IZA Discussion Papers 7706, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Arthur Alik-Lagrange & Martin Ravallion, 2015. "Inconsistent Policy Evaluation: A Case Study for a Large Workfare Program," NBER Working Papers 21041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Richard Blundell & Mike Brewer & Peter Haan & Andrew Shephard, 2009. "Optimal Income Taxation of Lone Mothers: An Empirical Comparison of the UK and Germany," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(535), pages 101-121, February.
    4. Gelber, Alexander M. & Mitchell, Joshua W., 2009. "Taxes and Time Allocation: Evidence from Single Women," MPRA Paper 19148, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Drenik, Andres & Perez-Truglia, Ricardo, 2018. "Sympathy for the diligent and the demand for workfare," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 77-102.
    6. Han, Jeehoon & Meyer, Bruce D. & Sullivan, James X., 2020. "Inequality in the joint distribution of consumption and time use," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 191(C).
    7. Stefanie Behncke & Markus Frölich & Michael Lechner, 2009. "Targeting Labour Market Programmes - Results from a Randomized Experiment," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 145(III), pages 221-268, September.
    8. Brett, Craig & Jacquet, Laurence, 2011. "Workforce or Workfare?," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 8/2011, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    9. Mojsoska-Blazevski, Nikica & Petreski, Marjan & Petreska, Despina, 2013. "Increasing labour market activity of poor and female: Let’s make work pay in Macedonia," MPRA Paper 57228, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Alari Paulus, 2016. "The antipoverty performance of universal and means-tested benefits with costly take-up," ImPRovE Working Papers 16/12, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    11. Martin Ravallion, 2021. "On the Gains from Tradeable Benefits-in-Kind," Working Papers gueconwpa~21-21-13, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
    12. Ruggero Paladini, 2014. "Da Bentham alla tassazione ottimale," Public Finance Research Papers 2, Istituto di Economia e Finanza, DSGE, Sapienza University of Rome.
    13. Timothy F. Harris, 2018. "Do SNAP Work Requirements Work?," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 19-297, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    14. John William Hatfield & Fuhito Kojima & Yusuke Narita, 2011. "Promoting School Competition Through School Choice: A Market Design Approach," Working Papers 2011-018, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    15. Tomer Blumkin & Yoram Margalioth & Efraim Sadka, 2013. "The desirability of workfare in the presence of misreporting," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(1), pages 71-88, February.
    16. Jesse Rothstein, 2009. "Is the EITC Equivalent to an NIT? Conditional Cash Transfers and Tax Incidence," NBER Working Papers 14966, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Louis Kaplow, 2007. "Optimal income transfers," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(3), pages 295-325, June.
    2. Timothy F. Harris, 2018. "Do SNAP Work Requirements Work?," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 19-297, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    3. Beaudry, Paul & Blackorby, Charles & Szalay, Dezso, 2006. "Taxes and Employment Subsidies in Optimal Redistribution Programs (Revised Version)," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 779, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    4. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Wojciech Kopczuk, 2011. "Transfer Program Complexity and the Take-Up of Social Benefits," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 54-90, February.
    5. Paul Beaudry & Charles Blackorby & Dezsö Szalay, 2009. "Taxes and Employment Subsidies in Optimal Redistribution Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 216-242, March.
    6. Laurence Jacquet, 2014. "Tagging and redistributive taxation with imperfect disability monitoring," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 42(2), pages 403-435, February.
    7. Robert A. Moffitt, 2003. "The Negative Income Tax and the Evolution of U.S. Welfare Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 119-140, Summer.
    8. Alari Paulus, 2016. "The antipoverty performance of universal and means-tested benefits with costly take-up," ImPRovE Working Papers 16/12, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    9. Michel, DE VROEY, 2006. "Getting Rid of Keynes ? A reflection on the history of macroeconomics," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2006051, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    10. Laurence, JACQUET, 2006. "Optimal disability assistance when fraud and stigma matter," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2006052, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    11. Moffitt, Robert A., 2002. "Welfare programs and labor supply," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 34, pages 2393-2430, Elsevier.
    12. Craig Brett & Laurence Jacquet, 2015. "Workforce or workfare? The optimal use of work requirements when labour is supplied along the extensive margin," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1855-1882, December.
    13. Richard Blundell & Andrew Shephard, 2012. "Employment, Hours of Work and the Optimal Taxation of Low-Income Families," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 481-510.
    14. Slack, Sean & Ulph, David, 2014. "Optimal Universal and Categorical Benefits with Classification Errors and Imperfect Enforcement," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 2015-13, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    15. Robert Moffitt, 2002. "Milton Friedman, the Negative Income Tax, and the Evolution of US Welfare Policy," Economics Working Paper Archive 486, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    16. Laurence JACQUET, 2009. "Take it or Leave it : Optimal Transfer Programs, Monitoring and Takeup," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2009003, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    17. Tomer Blumkin & Yoram Margalioth & Efraim Sadka, 2013. "The desirability of workfare in the presence of misreporting," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(1), pages 71-88, February.
    18. Boadway, Robin & Marceau, Nicolas & Sato, Motohiro, 1997. "An Agency Model of Welfare and Disability Assistance," Queen's Institute for Economic Research Discussion Papers 273383, Queen's University - Department of Economics.
    19. Rolf Aaberge & Ugo Colombino, 2014. "Labour Supply Models," Contributions to Economic Analysis, in: Cathal O’Donoghue (ed.), Handbook of Microsimulation Modelling, volume 127, pages 167-221, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    20. Lee, David & Saez, Emmanuel, 2012. "Optimal minimum wage policy in competitive labor markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 739-749.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:116:y:2006:i:515:p:f441-f458. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/resssea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing or Christopher F. Baum (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/resssea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.