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Can work alter welfare recipients' beliefs?

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  • Peter Gottschalk

    (Boston College)

Abstract

A common argument in support of work-based welfare reform is that exposure to work will lead welfare recipients to revise their beliefs about how they will be treated in the labor market. This paper explores the analytical and empirical basis for this argument. The difficulty in testing the assumption that work leads to a change in beliefs is that there is an inherent simultaneity between work and beliefs. Welfare recipients who work may have different beliefs because they learn about the world of work once they enter the labor market. Alternatively, welfare recipients who have a more positive view of work are the ones who are more likely to work. We use a unique data set that helps solve this simultaneity problem. We find that exogenous increases in work induced by an experimental tax credit led to the predicted change in beliefs among younger workers. © 2005 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Gottschalk, 2005. "Can work alter welfare recipients' beliefs?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(3), pages 485-498.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:24:y:2005:i:3:p:485-498
    DOI: 10.1002/pam.20111
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/pam.20111
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    1. Greg J. Duncan & James N. Morgan, 1981. "Sense of Efficacy and Subsequent Change in Earnings-A Replication," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 16(4), pages 649-657.
    2. Goldsmith, Arthur H & Veum, Jonathan R & Darity, William, Jr, 1997. "The Impact of Psychological and Human Capital on Wages," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(4), pages 815-829, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Schurer, Stefanie, 2017. "Bouncing back from health shocks: Locus of control and labor supply," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 1-20.
    2. Juan D. Barón & Deborah Cobb-Clark, 2010. "Are Young People's Educational Outcomes Linked to their Sense of Control?," Borradores de Economia 599, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    3. Heckman, James J. & Kautz, Tim, 2012. "Hard evidence on soft skills," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 451-464.
    4. Barón, Juan D. & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Erkal, Nisvan, 2008. "Cultural Transmission of Work-Welfare Attitudes and the Intergenerational Correlation in Welfare Receipt," IZA Discussion Papers 3904, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Preuss, Malte & Hennecke, Juliane, 2017. "Biased by success and failure: How unemployment shapes stated locus of control," Discussion Papers 2017/29, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    6. Hartley, Robert Paul & Lamarche, Carlos, 2017. "Behavioral Responses and Welfare Reform: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 10905, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Robert Kaestner & Elizabeth Tarlov, 2006. "Changes in the welfare caseload and the health of low-educated mothers," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(3), pages 623-643.
    8. Ayala, Luis & Rodríguez, Magdalena, 2013. "Health-related effects of welfare-to-work policies," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 103-112.
    9. Mendolia, Silvia & Walker, Ian, 2014. "The effect of personality traits on subject choice and performance in high school: Evidence from an English cohort," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 47-65.
    10. Zabel, Jeffrey & Schwartz, Saul & Donald, Stephen, 2006. "An Econometric Analysis of the Impact of the Self-Sufficiency Project on the Employment Behaviour of Former Welfare Recipients," IZA Discussion Papers 2122, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Ferrante, Francesco & Ruiu, Gabiele, 2014. "Entrepreneurship. How important are institutions and culturally-based prior beliefs?," MPRA Paper 41915, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. James Heckman & Tim Kautz, 2013. "Fostering and Measuring Skills: Interventions That Improve Character and Cognition," Working Papers 2013-019, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    13. Tim Kautz & James J. Heckman & Ron Diris & Bas ter Weel & Lex Borghans, 2014. "Fostering and Measuring Skills: Improving Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills to Promote Lifetime Success," NBER Working Papers 20749, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Eva M. Berger & Guenther Koenig & Henning Mueller & Felix Schmidt & Daniel Schunk, 2016. "Self-Regulation Training, Labor Market Reintegration of Unemployed Individuals, and Locus of Control Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment," Working Papers 1622, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, revised 2016.
    15. Schurer, Stefanie, 2014. "Bouncing Back from Health Shocks: Locus of Control, Labor Supply, and Mortality," IZA Discussion Papers 8203, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    16. Acosta, Pablo A. & Muller, Noel & Sarzosa, Miguel, 2015. "Beyond Qualifications: Returns to Cognitive and Socio-Emotional Skills in Colombia," IZA Discussion Papers 9403, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Jill Marie Gunderson & Julie L. Hotchkiss, 2006. "Welfare recipiency, job separation outcomes, and postseparation earnings: insight from linked personnel and state administrative data," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2006-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    18. Eva m. Berger & Guenther Koenig & Henning Müller & Felix Schmidt & Daniel Schunk, 2017. "Self-Regulation Training and Job Search Effort: A Natural Field Experiment within an Active Labor Market Program," Working Papers 1712, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz.
    19. Rémi Piatek & Pia Pinger, 2016. "Maintaining (Locus of) Control? Data Combination for the Identification and Inference of Factor Structure Models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(4), pages 734-755, June.
    20. Lindsey Jeanne Leininger & Ariel Kalil, 2008. "Cognitive and non-cognitive predictors of success in adult education programs: Evidence from experimental data with low-income welfare recipients," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(3), pages 521-535.
    21. Cobb-Clark, Deborah & Schurer, Stefanie, 2011. "Two economists’ musings on the stability of locus of control," Working Paper Series 1619, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.

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