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Can Work Alter Welfare Recipients' Beliefs about How They Will Fare in the Labor Market?

Listed author(s):
  • Peter Gottschalk


    (Boston College)

  • Sheldon Danziger

    (University of Michigan)

Some public policies aimed at integrating welfare recipients into the world of work are predicated on the premise that getting welfare recipients to work will change their beliefs about how they will be treated in the labor market. This paper explores the rationale for these policies and concludes that a plausible argument can be made on the basis of concepts developed by social psychologists and by economists. The prediction that work affects beliefs is tested using a unique data set that allows us to estimate the causal effect. We find that exogenous increases in work induced by an experimental tax credit led to the predicted changes in self-efficacy.

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Paper provided by Boston College Department of Economics in its series Boston College Working Papers in Economics with number 567.

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Date of creation: 02 Jul 2003
Publication status: published, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 2005
Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:567
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  1. Roland BĂ©nabou & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Self-Confidence and Personal Motivation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 871-915.
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