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Tax credits, income support, and partnership decisions

  • Dan Anderberg


This paper considers the potential impact of welfare benefits on the partnership status of women in the UK. Using recent policy reforms to identify the response rate I find that a £100/week welfare benefit “partnership penalty” reduces the probability of a woman having a partner by seven percentage points. I also use the model to explore the potential effects of the recent Tax Credit reforms on partnership rates; I find that while the 1999 WFTC reform improved partnership incentives this effect was effectively undone by the 2003 WTC/CTC reform.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 15 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 499-526

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:15:y:2008:i:4:p:499-526
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  1. Moffitt, Robert, 1992. "Incentive Effects of the U.S. Welfare System: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 1-61, March.
  2. V. Joseph Hotz & John Karl Scholz, 2001. "The Earned Income Tax Credit," NBER Working Papers 8078, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Michael J. Brien & Lee A. Lillard & Steven Stern, 2006. "Cohabitation, Marriage, And Divorce In A Model Of Match Quality," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(2), pages 451-494, 05.
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  6. Mark R. Rosenzweig, 1999. "Welfare, Marital Prospects, and Nonmarital Childbearing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S3-S32, December.
  7. Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2006. "Child Support and Partnership Dissolution," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(510), pages C93-C109, 03.
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  9. Schoeni, R.F. & Blank, R.M., 2000. "What Has Welfare Reform Accomplished? Impacts on Welfare Participation, Employment, Income, Poverty, and Family Structure," Papers 00-02, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  10. Reagan Baughman & Stacy Dickert-Conlin, 2003. "Did Expanding the EITC Promote Motherhood?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 247-251, May.
  11. Richard Blundell & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2004. "Has 'In-Work' Benefit Reform Helped the Labor Market?," NBER Chapters, in: Seeking a Premier Economy: The Economic Effects of British Economic Reforms, 1980-2000, pages 411-460 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 1996. "Female Labour Supply and Marital Status Decisions: A Life-Cycle Model," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 199-235, April.
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  14. Williamson Hoyne, Hilary, 1997. "Does welfare play any role in female headship decisions?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 89-117, August.
  15. Ellwood, David T., 2000. "The Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Social Policy Reforms on Work, Marriage, and Living Arrangements," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 4), pages 1063-1106, December.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
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