IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/reveho/v18y2020i4d10.1007_s11150-020-09509-8.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

In-kind transfers and home production

Author

Listed:
  • Matthew Greenblatt

    (The College of New Jersey)

Abstract

Why are in-kind transfers a prominent feature of the U.S. social safety net, and why is such a significant fraction of these benefits given to individuals who do not actively supply labor in the market? This paper presents home production as a novel rationalization for such transfers. It first shows that in a broad class of dynamic Mirrleesian models that include only market production, the optimal allocation features undistorted marginal rates of substitution between goods whenever agents are not working, and thus in-kind benefits provided to these agents do not help decentralize an optimal allocation. However, adding home production drastically changes the nature of the optimal allocation. In particular, if goods and labor are substitutes in home production and home and market productivity are positively correlated, in-kind benefits in the form of goods used in home production, such as groceries, energy, and housing capital, should be provided to agents who do not work. A numerical simulation shows that the optimal in-kind program for disabled workers in a plausibly calibrated version of the home production model is consistent with the scale of SNAP and other programs that provide home production goods in the U.S.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Greenblatt, 2020. "In-kind transfers and home production," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 1189-1211, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:18:y:2020:i:4:d:10.1007_s11150-020-09509-8
    DOI: 10.1007/s11150-020-09509-8
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s11150-020-09509-8
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1007/s11150-020-09509-8?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi, 1991. "The Allocation of Capital and Time over the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1188-1214, December.
    2. Cociuba, Simona E. & Prescott, Edward C. & Ueberfeldt, Alexander, 2018. "US hours at work," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 87-90.
    3. Casey Mulligan & Tomas Philipson, "undated". "Merit Motives and Government Intervention: Public Finance in Reverse," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 2000-03, Chicago - Population Research Center.
    4. Kaplow, Louis, 2006. "On the undesirability of commodity taxation even when income taxation is not optimal," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1235-1250, August.
    5. Olovsson, Conny, 2015. "Optimal taxation with home production," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 39-50.
    6. Melinda Podor & Timothy J. Halliday, 2012. "Health status and the allocation of time," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(5), pages 514-527, May.
    7. Fabrice Etilé & Marie Plessz, 2018. "Women’s employment and the decline of home cooking: Evidence from France, 1985–2010," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 939-970, December.
    8. Sören Blömquist & Vidar Christiansen, 1998. "Price Subsidies Versus Public Provision," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 5(3), pages 283-306, July.
    9. Boadway, Robin & Marchand, Maurice, 1995. "The Use of Public Expenditures for Redistributive Purposes," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 45-59, January.
    10. Dotsey, Michael & Li, Wenli & Yang, Fang, 2015. "Home production and Social Security reform," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 131-150.
    11. Emmanuel Farhi, 2013. "Insurance and Taxation over the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 596-635.
    12. Jean-Marie Baland & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Is Child Labor Inefficient?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(4), pages 663-679, August.
    13. Loury, Glenn C, 1981. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Distribution of Earnings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 843-867, June.
    14. Nichols, Albert L & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1982. "Targeting Transfers through Restrictions on Recipients," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 372-377, May.
    15. Gnocchi, Stefano & Hauser, Daniela & Pappa, Evi, 2016. "Housework and fiscal expansions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 94-108.
    16. Mikhail Golosov & Narayana Kocherlakota & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2003. "Optimal Indirect and Capital Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 569-587.
    17. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1998. "On Optimal Taxation of Housing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 315-335, May.
    18. McGrattan, Ellen R & Rogerson, Richard & Wright, Randall, 1997. "An Equilibrium Model of the Business Cycle with Household Production and Fiscal Policy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(2), pages 267-290, May.
    19. Gahvari, Firouz, 1995. "In-Kind versus Cash Transfers in the Presence of Distortionary Taxes," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(1), pages 45-53, January.
    20. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2007. "Life-Cycle Prices and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1533-1559, December.
    21. Gasparini, Leonardo C. & Pinto, Santiago M., 2006. "Equality of opportunity and optimal cash and in-kind policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 143-169, January.
    22. Campos, Rodolfo G. & Reggio, Iliana, 2016. "Optimal unemployment insurance: Consumption versus expenditure," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 81-89.
    23. Janet Currie & Firouz Gahvari, 2008. "Transfers in Cash and In-Kind: Theory Meets the Data," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(2), pages 333-383, June.
    24. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1991. "Public Provision of Private Goods and the Redistribution of Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 979-984, September.
    25. Pinto, Santiago M., 2004. "Assistance to poor households when income is not observed: targeted in-kind and in-cash transfers," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 536-553, November.
    26. Saez, Emmanuel, 2002. "The desirability of commodity taxation under non-linear income taxation and heterogeneous tastes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 217-230, February.
    27. Zhang, Jie & Davies, James & Zeng, Jinli & McDonald, Stuart, 2008. "Optimal taxation in a growth model with public consumption and home production," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 885-896, April.
    28. Spencer Bastani & Sören Blomquist & Jukka Pirttilä, 2015. "How should commodities be taxed? A counter-argument to the recommendation in the Mirrlees Review," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(2), pages 455-478.
    29. Blomquist, Soren & Christiansen, Vidar, 1998. "Topping Up or Opting Out? The Optimal Design of Public Provision Schemes," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 399-411, May.
    30. Guesnerie, Roger & Roberts, Kevin, 1984. "Effective Policy Tools and Quantity Controls," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 59-86, January.
    31. Firouz Gahvari & Enlinson Mattos, 2007. "Conditional Cash Transfers, Public Provision of Private Goods, and Income Redistribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 491-502, March.
    32. Grossbard-Shechtman, Shoshana, 2003. "A consumer theory with competitive markets for work in marriage," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 609-645.
    33. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
    34. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1988. "Cash versus Kind, Self-selection, and Efficient Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 691-700, September.
    35. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1997. "In-kind transfers, self-selection and optimal tax policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 97-114, January.
    36. Blomquist, Suren & Christiansen, Vidar, 1995. " Public Provision of Private Goods as a Redistributive Device in an Optimum Income Tax Model," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 547-567, December.
    37. Gahvari, Firouz & Micheletto, Luca, 2016. "Capital income taxation and the Atkinson–Stiglitz theorem," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 86-89.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    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. Janet Currie & Firouz Gahvari, 2008. "Transfers in Cash and In-Kind: Theory Meets the Data," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(2), pages 333-383, June.
    2. Spencer Bastani & Sören Blomquist & Luca Micheletto, 2020. "Child Care Subsidies, Quality, and Optimal Income Taxation," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 1-37, November.
    3. Sören Blömquist & Vidar Christiansen, 1998. "Price Subsidies Versus Public Provision," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 5(3), pages 283-306, July.
    4. Alessandro Balestrino, 2000. "Mixed Tax Systems and the Public Provision of Private Goods," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 7(4), pages 463-478, August.
    5. Blomquist, Soren & Christiansen, Vidar, 1999. "The political economy of publicly provided private goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 31-54, July.
    6. Luciano G. Greco, 2011. "Optimal Redistribution with Productive Social Services," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113(1), pages 55-73, March.
    7. Gasparini, Leonardo C. & Pinto, Santiago M., 2006. "Equality of opportunity and optimal cash and in-kind policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 143-169, January.
    8. Hanming Fang & Peter Norman, 2014. "Toward an efficiency rationale for the public provision of private goods," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 56(2), pages 375-408, June.
    9. Sören Blomquist & Vidar Christiansen, 2003. "Is there a Case for Public Provision of Private Goods if Preferences are Heterogeneous? An Example with Day Care," CESifo Working Paper Series 938, CESifo.
    10. Robin Boadway, 2011. "Viewpoint: Innovations in the theory and practice of redistribution policy," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 44(4), pages 1138-1183, November.
    11. Blomquist, Sören & Christiansen, Vidar, 2004. "Welfare Enhancing Marginal Tax Rates: The Case of Publicly Provided Day Care," Arbetsrapport 2004:6, Institute for Futures Studies.
    12. Spencer Bastani & Sören Blomquist & Luca Micheletto, 2010. "Public Provision of Private Goods, Tagging and Optimal Income Taxation with Heterogeneity in Needs," CESifo Working Paper Series 3275, CESifo.
    13. Balestrino, Alessandro, 1999. "User Charges as Redistributive Devices," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 1(4), pages 511-524.
    14. Simona GRASSI, 2006. "On the characteristics of a mixed system of provision of a private good. An application to health care," Departmental Working Papers 2006-14, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    15. Blomquist, Soren & Christiansen, Vidar, 1998. "Topping Up or Opting Out? The Optimal Design of Public Provision Schemes," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 399-411, May.
    16. Jukka Pirttilä & Ilpo Suoniemi, 2014. "Public Provision, Commodity Demand, and Hours of Work: An Empirical Analysis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 116(4), pages 1044-1067, October.
    17. Robin Boadway, 1998. "The Mirrlees Approach to the Theory of Economic Policy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 5(1), pages 67-81, February.
    18. Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay & Joan Esteban, 2007. "Redistributive Taxation and PublicExpenditures," STICERD - Distributional Analysis Research Programme Papers 95, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    19. Robin Boadway, 2017. "Second-Best Theory: Ageing well at Sixty," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 249-270, May.
    20. Alessandro Balestrino & Lisa Grazzini & Annalisa Luporini, 2017. "A normative justification of compulsory education," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(2), pages 537-567, April.

    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:kap:reveho:v:18:y:2020:i:4:d:10.1007_s11150-020-09509-8. 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: http://www.springer.com .

    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: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    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.