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The Labor Market Impacts of Universal and Permanent Cash Transfers: Evidence from the Alaska Permanent Fund

Author

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  • Damon Jones

    () (University of Chicago)

  • Ioana Marinescu

    (University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy)

Abstract

What are the effects of universal and permanent cash transfers on the labor market? Since 1982, all Alaskan residents have been entitled to a yearly cash dividend from the Alaska Permanent Fund. Using data from the Current Population Survey and a synthetic control method, we show that the dividend had no effect on employment, and increased part-time work by 1.8 percentage points (17 percent). Although theory and prior empirical research suggests that individual cash transfers decrease household labor supply, we interpret our results as evidence that general equilibrium effects of widespread and permanent transfers tend to offset this effect, at least on the extensive margin. Consistent with this story, we show suggestive evidence that tradable sectors experience employment reductions, while non-tradable sectors do not. Overall, our results suggest that a universal and permanent cash transfer does not significantly decrease aggregate employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Damon Jones & Ioana Marinescu, 2019. "The Labor Market Impacts of Universal and Permanent Cash Transfers: Evidence from the Alaska Permanent Fund," Working Papers 2019-013, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:hka:wpaper:2019-013
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Giulia Giupponi, 2019. "When Income Effects are Large: Labor Supply Responses and the Value of Welfare Transfers," CEP Discussion Papers dp1651, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Massimo Baldini & Elizabeth Jane Casabianca & Elena Giarda & Lorenzo Lusignoli, 2018. "The Impact of REI on Italian Households' Income: A Micro and Macro Evaluation," Politica economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 103-134.
    3. Salehi-Isfahani, Djavad & Mostafavi-Dehzooei, Mohammad H., 2018. "Cash transfers and labor supply: Evidence from a large-scale program in Iran," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 349-367.
    4. Nicole Bosch & Egbert Jongen & Wouter Leenders & Jan Möhlmann, 2019. "Non-bunching at kinks and notches in cash transfers in the Netherlands," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 26(6), pages 1329-1352, December.
    5. Ioana Marinescu, 2018. "No Strings Attached: The Behavioral Effects of U.S. Unconditional Cash Transfer Programs," NBER Working Papers 24337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Mohammad Rasoolinejad, 2019. "Universal Basic Income: The Last Bullet in the Darkness," Papers 1910.05658, arXiv.org.
    7. Nicole Bosch & Egbert Jongen & Wouter Leenders & Jan Möhlmann, 2019. "Non-Bunching at Kinks and Notches in Cash Transfers," CPB Discussion Paper 401.rdf, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    8. Massimo Baldini & Elizabeth J. Casabianca & Elena Giarda & Lorenzo Lusignoli, 2018. "The impact of REI on Italian households’ income: A micro and macro evaluation," Department of Economics 0126, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    9. Nishant Yonzan & Laxman Timilsina & Inas Rashad Kelly, 2020. "Economic Incentives Surrounding Fertility: Evidence from Alaska's Permanent Fund Dividend," NBER Working Papers 26712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Nicole Bosch & Egbert Jongen & Wouter Leenders & Jan Möhlmann, 2019. "Non-Bunching at Kinks and Notches in Cash Transfers," CPB Discussion Paper 401, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    11. Shantayanan Devarajan, 2018. "How to Use Oil Revenues Efficiently," Working Papers 1199, Economic Research Forum, revised 24 May 2018.
    12. Gassmann, Franziska & Martorano, Bruno, 2019. "The future of work and its implications for social protection and the welfare state," MERIT Working Papers 039, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    unconditional cash transfers; universal basic income; Labor Supply; employment;

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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