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The Effects of In‐Work Benefit Reform in Britain on Couples: Theory and Evidence

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  • Marco Francesconi
  • Helmut Rainer
  • Wilbert Van Der Klaauw

Abstract

This article develops a simple model of household decisions that explicitly accounts for the role played by the Working Families’ Tax Credit (WFTC) to examine its effects on couples in Britain. The main implications of the model are tested using panel data from the British Household Panel Survey collected between 1991 and 2002. Overall, the financial incentives of the reform had small and statistically insignificant effects on a wide range of married mothers’ decisions. Women’s responses, however, were highly heterogeneous, depending on their partners’ labour supply and earnings.

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  • Marco Francesconi & Helmut Rainer & Wilbert Van Der Klaauw, 2009. "The Effects of In‐Work Benefit Reform in Britain on Couples: Theory and Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(535), pages 66-100, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:econjl:v:119:y:2009:i:535:p:f66-f100
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0297.2008.02225.x
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    Cited by:

    1. DAVID M. BLAU & WILBERT van der KLAAUW, 2013. "What Determines Family Structure?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 579-604, January.
    2. Blundell, Richard & Francesconi, Marco & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2011. "Anatomy of Welfare Reform Evaluation: Announcement and Implementation Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 6050, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. María Arrazola & José de Hevia, 2016. "The Gender Wage Gap in Offered, Observed, and Reservation Wages for Spain," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(4), pages 101-128, October.
    4. Jeffrey Grogger & LynnA. Karoly, 2009. "The Effects of Work-Conditioned Transfers on Marriage and Child Well-Being: A Review," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(535), pages 15-37, February.
    5. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias & Costas Meghir & Jonathan Shaw, 2016. "Female Labor Supply, Human Capital, and Welfare Reform," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 84, pages 1705-1753, September.
    6. Hayley Fisher & Anna Zhu, 2019. "The Effect of Changing Financial Incentives on Repartnering," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(623), pages 2833-2866.
    7. Bastani, Spencer & Moberg, Ylva & Selin, Håkan, 2016. "Estimating participation responses using transfer program reform," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2016:4, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    8. Bergolo, Marcelo & Galván, Estefanía, 2018. "Intra-household Behavioral Responses to Cash Transfer Programs. Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 100-118.
    9. Spencer Bastani & Ylva Moberg & Håkan Selin, 2021. "The Anatomy of the Extensive Margin Labor Supply Response," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 123(1), pages 33-59, January.
    10. Helmut Rainer & Stefan Bauernschuster & Natalia Danzer & Anita Fichtl & Timo Hener & Christian Holzner & Janina Reinkowski, 2013. "Kindergeld und Kinderfreibeträge in Deutschland: Evaluierung der Auswirkungen auf familienpolitische Ziele," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 66(09), pages 28-36, April.
    11. Helmut Rainer & Stefan Bauernschuster & Natalia Danzer & Timo Hener & Christian Holzner & Janina Reinkowski, 2013. "Kindergeld," ifo Forschungsberichte, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 60.
    12. Giuseppe De Luca & Claudio Rossetti & Daniela Vuri, 2012. "In-Work Benefits for Married Couples: An Ex-Ante Evaluation of EITC and WTC Policies in Italy," CEIS Research Paper 244, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 23 Jul 2012.
    13. Véronique Simonnet & Elisabeth Danzin, 2014. "L'effet du RSA sur le taux de retour à l'emploi des allocataires. Une analyse en double différence selon le nombre et l'âge des enfants," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 467(1), pages 91-116.
    14. Ghazala Azmat, 2019. "Incidence, salience, and spillovers: The direct and indirect effects of tax credits on wages," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 10(1), pages 239-273, January.
    15. Francesconi, Marco & Rainer, Helmut & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2008. "Unintended Consequences of Welfare Reform: The Case of Divorced Parents," IZA Discussion Papers 3891, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Cecilia Parada, 2018. "Income cash transfers and intrahousehold decision making," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 18-17, Instituto de Economia - IECON.
    17. Ugo Colombino, 2015. "Five Crossroads on the Way to Basic Income. An Italian Tour," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 1(3), pages 353-389, November.
    18. Marco Francesconi & Helmut Rainer & Wilbert Klaauw, 2015. "Unintended consequences of welfare reform for children with single parents: a theoretical analysis," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 709-733, September.
    19. Timo Hener, 2016. "Unconditional Child Benefits, Mothers’ Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being: Evidence from a Policy Reform," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 62(4), pages 624-649.
    20. Michał Myck & Kajetan Trzciński, 2019. "From Partial to Full Universality: The Family 500+ Programme in Poland and its Labor Supply Implications," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 17(03), pages 36-44, October.
    21. Jeffrey Grogger & LynnA. Karoly, 2009. "The Effects of Work-Conditioned Transfers on Marriage and Child Well-Being: A Review," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(535), pages 15-37, February.
    22. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias & Costas Meghir & Jonathan Shaw, 2011. "The long-term effects of in-work benefits in a life-cycle model for policy evaluation," CeMMAP working papers CWP07/11, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    23. Jonathan Shaw, 2014. "The redistribution and insurance value of welfare reform," IFS Working Papers W14/21, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    24. Ghazala Azmat, 2014. "Evaluating the effectiveness of in-work tax credits," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 397-425, March.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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