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The Effect of Social Benefits on Youth Employment: Combining RD and a Behavioral Model

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  • BARGAIN Olivier
  • DOORLEY Karina

Abstract

Natural experiments provide robust identifying assumptions for the estimation of policy effects. Yet their use for policy design is often limited by the difficulty of extrapolating on the basis of reduced-form estimates. In this study, we exploit an age condition in the eligibility for social assistance in France, which lends itself to a regression discontinuity (RD) design. We suggest to make the underlying labor supply model explicit, i.e. to translate the reduced-form discontinuity in terms of discontinuous changes in disposable incomes. This exercise shows the potential of combining natural experiments and behavioral models. In particular, we can test the external validity of the combined approach. We find that it predicts the effect of a subsequent reform, which extends transfers to the working poor, remarkably well. The model is then used to simulate the extension of social assistance to young people and finds that a transfer program with an in-work component would not create further disincentives to work in this population.

Suggested Citation

  • BARGAIN Olivier & DOORLEY Karina, 2016. "The Effect of Social Benefits on Youth Employment: Combining RD and a Behavioral Model," LISER Working Paper Series 2016-12, LISER.
  • Handle: RePEc:irs:cepswp:2016-12
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    Cited by:

    1. Diego Collado, 2018. "Financial work incentives and the long-term unemployed: the case of Belgium," Working Papers 1803, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    behavioral model; regression discontinuity; labor supply;

    JEL classification:

    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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