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The Effect of Financial Incentives on Labour Supply: Evidence for Sole Parents from Microsimulation and Quasi-Experimental Evaluation

  • Lixin Cai

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Guyonne Kalb

    ()

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Yi-Ping Tseng

    ()

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Hong Ha Vu

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

The aim of this paper is to analyse work incentive effects from a recent change in the Australian tax and transfer system on sole parents. Two approaches are used in the analysis: microsimulation and quasi-experimental evaluation. Both approaches examine the effects on the probability of employment and average working hours. The results from both approaches show that the combined changes introduced in July 2000 involving reduced withdrawal rates, changed family payments and lower income tax rates¯have increased labour supply for sole parents to a small extent. The results from microsimulation are slightly smaller than those estimated from a quasi-experimental approach using matching techniques to control for alternative influences. In addition, using microsimulation, the separate effects of the components can be estimated. It was found that reduced benefit withdrawal rates, a reduction in the withdrawal rates and abolition of the sudden death for family payments, and lower income tax rates all increased labour supply. However, the replacement of tax rebates with additional non-income-tested family payments is estimated to have a negative effect on labour supply.

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Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2005n10.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2005n10
Contact details of provider: Postal: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 2100
Fax: +61 3 8344 2111
Web page: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/
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  1. John Creedy & Guyonne Kalb, 2005. "Discrete Hours Labour Supply Modelling: Specification, Estimation and Simulation," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(5), pages 697-734, December.
  2. Alan Duncan & Mark N. Harris, 2001. "Simulating the Behavioural Effects of Welfare Reforms among Sole Parents in Australia," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2001n06, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  3. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "On the Failure of the Bootstrap for Matching Estimators," NBER Technical Working Papers 0325, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Hilary Hoynes & Richard Blundell, 2001. "Has "In-Work" Benefit Reform Helped the Labour Market?," NBER Working Papers 8546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Guyonne Kalb, 2002. "Estimation of Labour Supply Models for Four Separate Groups in the Australian Population," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2002n24, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  6. John Creedy & Guyonne Kalb & Hsein Kew, 2003. "Flattening the Effective Marginal Tax Rate Structure in Australia: Policy Simulations Using the Melbourne Institute Tax and Transfer Simulator," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 36(2), pages 156-172.
  7. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Propensity Score Matching Methods for Non-experimental Causal Studies," NBER Working Papers 6829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 2003. "Does Matching Overcome Lalonde's Critique of Nonexperimental Estimators?," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20035, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  9. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Causal Effects in Non-Experimental Studies: Re-Evaluating the Evaluation of Training Programs," NBER Working Papers 6586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Guyonne Kalb & Rosanna Scutella, 2002. "Estimation of Wage Equations in Australia: Allowing for Censored Observations of Labour Supply," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2002n08, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  11. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
  12. Denise J. Doiron, 2004. "Welfare Reform and the Labour Supply of Lone Parents in Australia: A Natural Experiment Approach," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 80(249), pages 157-176, 06.
  13. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Julian McCrae & Costas Meghir, 2000. "The labour market impact of the working families’ tax credit," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 75-103, March.
  14. John Creedy & Guyonne Kalb & Hsein Kew, 2001. "The Melbourne Institute Tax and Transfer Simulator (MITTS)," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2001n16, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  15. 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.
  16. Guyonne Kalb & Hsein Kew & Rosanna Scutella, 2005. "Effects of the Australian New Tax System on Income Tax and Benefits with and without Labour Supply Responses," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 38(2), pages 137-158, 06.
  17. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2000. "Evaluation methods for non-experimental data," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 427-468, January.
  18. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias & Costas Meghir & John Van Reenen, 2001. "Evaluating the employment impact of a mandatory job search assistance program," IFS Working Papers W01/20, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  19. Jeff Borland & Yi-Ping Tseng, 2003. "How Do Administrative Arrangements Affect Exit from Unemployment Payments? The Case of the Job Seeker Diary in Australia," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n27, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  20. Arulampalam, W. & Robin A. Naylor & Jeremy P. Smith, 2002. "University of Warwick," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 9, Royal Economic Society.
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