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

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  • Jones, Damon

    (University of Chicago)

  • Marinescu, Ioana E.

    (University of Pennsylvania)

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

  • Jones, Damon & Marinescu, Ioana E., 2018. "The Labor Market Impacts of Universal and Permanent Cash Transfers: Evidence from the Alaska Permanent Fund," IZA Discussion Papers 11356, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11356
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    unconditional cash transfer; universal basic income; labor supply; employment;
    All these keywords.

    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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