IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Financial incentives and welfare reform in the United States


  • Philip K Robins

    (University of Miami, Coral Gables)

  • Charles Michalopoulos

    (MDRC, New York)

  • Elsie Pan

    (MDRC, New York)


This paper uses a microsimulation model to ask whether welfare recipients in the United States would work full-time if offered an earnings supplement that was conditioned on full-time employment. The simulations suggest that the earnings supplement would increase full-time employment, with little additional cash transfer cost to the government. In contrast, financial incentives currently being used by many of the states are increasing employment and income, but are encouraging primarily part-time employment. Encouraging full-time employment is particularly important in light of new time limits on welfare receipt. Faced with a loss of welfare benefits, many recipients may find that part-time earnings do not allow them to be economically self-sufficient. © 2001 by the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Suggested Citation

  • Philip K Robins & Charles Michalopoulos & Elsie Pan, 2001. "Financial incentives and welfare reform in the United States," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 129-150.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:20:y:2001:i:1:p:129-150
    DOI: 10.1002/1520-6688(200124)20:1<129::AID-PAM1007>3.0.CO;2-M

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Card & Philip K. Robins, 1996. "Do Financial Incentives Encourage Welfare Recipients to Work? Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation of the Self-Sufficiency Project," NBER Working Papers 5701, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Charles Michalopoulos & Philip K. Robins & David Card, 2000. "When Financial Incentives Pay for Themselves: Early Findings from the Self-Sufficiency Project's Applicant Study," JCPR Working Papers 133, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    3. Rebecca M. Blank & David Card & Philip K. Robins, 1999. "Financial Incentives for Increasing Work and Income Among Low- Income Families," HEW 9902002, EconWPA.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    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:wly:jpamgt:v:20:y:2001:i:1:p:129-150. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    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 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.

    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.