Targeting social assistance
This paper reviews the normative welfare economic literature on income-based targeting and contrasts its assumptions with those underlying current policy discourse. One current policy debate concerns the potential role for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) income tests. In general, economic models within the standard (for economists) ‘welfarist’ approach provide little support for such policies. However, much policy discourse is explicitly non-welfarist, placing a negative social value on the leisure or home production of the poor. From this perspective, EITC or workfare-type programmes may be socially optimal. The normative foundations of this policy discourse, however, have yet to be subject to the rigorous analysis that underlies the welfarist approach.
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Volume (Year): 25 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
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