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Putting Structure on the RD Design: Social Transfers and Youth Inactivity in France

Natural experiments provide explicit and robust identifying assumptions for the estimation of treatment effects. Yet their use for policy design is often limited by the difficulty in extrapolating on the basis of reduced-form estimates of policy effects. On the contrary, structural models allow us to conduct ex ante policy analysis but their internal validity is often questioned. In this paper, we suggest combining the two approaches by putting structure on a regression discontinuity (RD) design. We start with a RD estimation, exploiting the fact that childless single individuals under 25 years of age are not eligible for social assistance in France. A behavioral model is then identified using the same age discontinuity. While this model replicates well the employment effect obtained by RD, it can also be used to predict actual policy reforms and, hence, to check external validity. Showing good performances in this regard, it is finally used to simulate important counterfactual policies, namely the extension of social assistance to young people and the employment effects of a large in-work benefit reform.

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Paper provided by Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France in its series AMSE Working Papers with number 1406.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 23 Feb 2014
Date of revision: 23 Feb 2014
Handle: RePEc:aim:wpaimx:1406
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.amse-aixmarseille.fr/en

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  1. Lemieux, Thomas & Milligan, Kevin, 2008. "Incentive effects of social assistance: A regression discontinuity approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 807-828, February.
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  7. Marco Francesconi & Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2007. "The Socioeconomic Consequences of "In-Work" Benefit Reform for British Lone Mothers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(1).
  8. Beffy, Magali & Buchinsky, Moshe & Fougère, Denis & Kamionka, Thierry & Kramarz, Francis, 2006. "The Returns to Seniority in France (and Why Are They Lower than in the United States?)," IZA Discussion Papers 1935, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  10. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," NBER Working Papers 14723, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Gurgand, Marc & Margolis, David N., 2008. "Does work pay in France? Monetary incentives, hours constraints, and the guaranteed minimum income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(7), pages 1669-1697, July.
  12. Immervoll, Herwig & Kleven, Henrik & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup & Saez, Emmanuel, 2004. "Welfare Reform in European Countries: A Micro-Simulation Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 4324, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Joshua D. Angrist & J�rn-Steffen Pischke, 2010. "The Credibility Revolution in Empirical Economics: How Better Research Design Is Taking the Con out of Econometrics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 3-30, Spring.
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  15. Hoynes, Hilary Williamson, 1996. "Welfare Transfers in Two-Parent Families: Labor Supply and Welfare Participation under AFDC-UP," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 295-332, March.
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  23. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00202299 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Denis Fougère & Francis Kramarz & Julien Pouget, 2009. "Youth Unemployment and Crime in France," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(5), pages 909-938, 09.
  25. Guido W. Imbens, 2010. "Better LATE Than Nothing: Some Comments on Deaton (2009) and Heckman and Urzua (2009)," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 399-423, June.
  26. Arthur van Soest, 1995. "Structural Models of Family Labor Supply: A Discrete Choice Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 63-88.
  27. Guido W. Imbens & Donald B. Rubin & Bruce I. Sacerdote, 2001. "Estimating the Effect of Unearned Income on Labor Earnings, Savings, and Consumption: Evidence from a Survey of Lottery Players," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 778-794, September.
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