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Does Labor Supply Respond to Transitory Income? Evidence from the Economic Stimulus Payments of 2008

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  • David Powell

Abstract

This paper studies labor supply responses to transitory income, exploiting the differential timing of the 2008 tax rebates. While an influential literature finds that rebates encourage consumer spending, it has ignored the ramifications on labor supply. I estimate that each rebate dollar reduces monthly earnings by 9 cents with smaller but significant lagged effects. This responsiveness is primarily concentrated in the second quartile of the earnings distribution and among hourly workers. The results imply that the $96 billion in stimulus payments had a partial equilibrium effect of reducing short-term national labor earnings by more than $26 billion.

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  • David Powell, 2020. "Does Labor Supply Respond to Transitory Income? Evidence from the Economic Stimulus Payments of 2008," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(1), pages 1-38.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/704494
    DOI: 10.1086/704494
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