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Effects of Government Policies on Income Distribution and Welfare

  • Wu, Ximing
  • Perloff, Jeffrey M.
  • Golan, Amos

A variety of parametric and semiparametric models produce qualitatively similar estimates of government policies’ effects on income distribution and welfare (as measured by the Gini, standard deviation of logarithms, relative mean deviation, coefficient of variation, and various Atkinson indexes). Taxes and the Earned Income Tax Credit are an effective way to redistribute income to the poor and raise welfare. The minimum wage lowers welfare. Social insurance programs have little effect except for Supplemental Security Income, which raises welfare. Transfer programs (AFDC/TANF and food stamps) either have no statistically significant effect or lower welfare.

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Paper provided by Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley in its series Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series with number qt74r4h1fc.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:agrebk:qt74r4h1fc
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  1. Thurow, Lester C, 1970. "Analyzing the American Income Distribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(2), pages 261-69, May.
  2. Lee Soltow, 1969. "Six Papers on the Size Distribution of Wealth and Income," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number solt69-1, June.
  3. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 2000. "Making Single Mothers Work: Recent Tax and Welfare Policy and its Effects," NBER Working Papers 7491, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Simon Kuznets & Elizabeth Jenks, 1953. "Shares of Upper Income Groups in Income and Savings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kuzn53-1, June.
  5. Golan, Amos & Judge, George G. & Miller, Douglas, 1996. "Maximum Entropy Econometrics," Staff General Research Papers 1488, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  6. Janice F. Madden, 2000. "Changes in Income Inequality within U.S. Metropolitan Areas," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number cii.
  7. Jeffrey T. LaFrance, 1999. "Inferring the Nutrient Content of Food With Prior Information," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(3), pages 728-734.
  8. Cowell, Frank A & Victoria-Feser, Maria-Pia, 1996. "Robustness Properties of Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(1), pages 77-101, January.
  9. N. Eissa & H. W. Hoynes, . "The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Labor Supply of Married Couples," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1194-99, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  10. T. Paul Schultz, 1969. "Secular Trends and Cyclical Behavior of Income Distribution in the United States: 1944–1965," NBER Chapters, in: Six Papers on the Size Distribution of Wealth and Income, pages 75-106 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Golan, Amos & Judge, George G. & Perloff, Jeffrey M., 1995. "Estimating the size distribution of firms using government summary statistics," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt14b416tk, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  12. Freeman, Richard B, 1996. "The Minimum Wage as a Redistributive Tool," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(436), pages 639-49, May.
  13. David Neumark & Mark Schweitzer & William Wascher, 1998. "The Effects of Minimum Wages on the Distribution of Family Incomes: A Non-Parametric Analysis," NBER Working Papers 6536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Neumark, D. & Schweitzer, M. & Wascher, W., 1999. "The Effect of Minimum Wages Throughout the Wage Distribution," Papers 9919, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  15. repec:sae:ilrrev:v:49:y:1996:i:3:p:547-552 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Leonesio, Michael V, 1988. "In-Kind Transfers and Work Incentives," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(4), pages 515-29, October.
  17. Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2000. "Who are the Ineligible EITC Recipients?," JCPR Working Papers 131, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  18. Nada Eissa & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1996. "Labor Supply Response to the Earned Income Tax Credit," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 605-637.
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