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Do in-work benefits work for low-skilled workers?

Author

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  • Bruno Van der Linden

    (Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium, and IZA, Germany)

Abstract

High risk of poverty and low employment rates are widespread among low-skilled groups, especially in the case of some household compositions (e.g. single mothers). “Making-work-pay” policies have been advocated for and implemented to address these issues. They alleviate the above-mentioned problems without providing a disincentive to work. However, do they deliver on their promises? If they do reduce poverty and enhance employment, can we further determine their effects on indicators of well-being, such as mental health and life satisfaction, or on the acquisition of human capital?

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno Van der Linden, 2016. "Do in-work benefits work for low-skilled workers?," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 246-246, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izawol:journl:y:2016:n:246
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dorsett, Richard, 2014. "The effect of temporary in-work support on employment retention: Evidence from a field experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 61-71.
    2. Nada Eissa & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1996. "Labor Supply Response to the Earned Income Tax Credit," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 605-637.
    3. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Emmanuel Saez, 2013. "Using Differences in Knowledge across Neighborhoods to Uncover the Impacts of the EITC on Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 2683-2721, December.
    4. 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.
    5. Nada Eissa & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2006. "Behavioral Responses to Taxes: Lessons from the EITC and Labor Supply," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 20, pages 73-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Paul Gregg & Susan Harkness & Sarah Smith, 2009. "Welfare Reform and Lone Parents in the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(535), pages 38-65, February.
    7. Brewer, Mike & Duncan, Alan & Shephard, Andrew & Suarez, Maria Jose, 2006. "Did working families' tax credit work? The impact of in-work support on labour supply in Great Britain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 699-720, December.
    8. Card, David & Hyslop, Dean R., 2009. "The dynamic effects of an earnings subsidy for long-term welfare recipients: Evidence from the self sufficiency project applicant experiment," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 153(1), pages 1-20, November.
    9. Averett, Susan L. & Wang, Yang, 2015. "The Effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit on Children's Health, Quality of Home Environment, and Non-Cognitive Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 9173, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. 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.
    11. Bettendorf, Leon J.H. & Folmer, Kees & Jongen, Egbert L.W., 2014. "The dog that did not bark: The EITC for single mothers in the Netherlands," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 49-60.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Wolf, Tobias & Hetschko, Clemens & Schöb, Ronnie, 2016. "Income Support, (Un-)Employment and Well-Being," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145860, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    making work pay; inactivity trap; redistribution; single mothers; earned income tax credit; working tax credit;

    JEL classification:

    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions

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