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Does Work Pay in France? Monetary Incentives and the Guaranteed Minimum Income

Author

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  • Gurgand, Marc

    () (Paris School of Economics)

  • Margolis, David N.

    () (Paris School of Economics)

Abstract

Most welfare programs generate high marginal tax rates on labor income. This paper uses a representative sample of individuals on France's main welfare program (the Revenu Minimum d'Insertion, or RMI) to estimate monetary gains to employment for welfare recipients. This is based on the distribution of potential monthly earnings faced by each individual, as inferred from the distribution of observed wages and working time. Taking account of the welfare earnings top-up program (intéressement), we find that gains are almost always positive, but that their amount is very low, especially for single mothers. Intéressement is found to have a small impact, because of its provisional nature. Gains are positively related to the probability that a welfare recipient in 1996 will be observed in employment in 1998. Using a simple structural model, we interpret this as a labor supply effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Gurgand, Marc & Margolis, David N., 2005. "Does Work Pay in France? Monetary Incentives and the Guaranteed Minimum Income," IZA Discussion Papers 1467, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1467
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00353897 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Robert A. Moffitt, 2003. "The Negative Income Tax and the Evolution of U.S. Welfare Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 119-140, Summer.
    3. Hajivassiliou, Vassilis A. & Ruud, Paul A., 1986. "Classical estimation methods for LDV models using simulation," Handbook of Econometrics,in: R. F. Engle & D. McFadden (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 40, pages 2383-2441 Elsevier.
    4. Dickens, William T & Lundberg, Shelly J, 1993. "Hours Restrictions and Labor Supply," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(1), pages 169-192, February.
    5. David N. Margolis, 1996. "Cohort Effects and Returns to Seniority in France," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 41-42, pages 443-464.
    6. Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1039-1073.
    7. Mitali Das & Whitney K. Newey & Francis Vella, 2003. "Nonparametric Estimation of Sample Selection Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 33-58.
    8. repec:adr:anecst:y:1996:i:41-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    10. Moffitt, Robert A., 2002. "Welfare programs and labor supply," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 34, pages 2393-2430 Elsevier.
    11. Euwals, Rob & van Soest, Arthur, 1999. "Desired and actual labour supply of unmarried men and women in the Netherlands," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 95-118, March.
    12. repec:adr:anecst:y:1996:i:41-42:p:18 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Marc Gurgand & David Margolis, 2000. "Minima Sociaux et Revenus du Travail en France," Working Papers 2000-62, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Libertad González Luna, 2005. "Single mothers and incentives to work: The French experience," Economics Working Papers 818, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    2. Anna Laura Mancini, 2007. "Labor supply responses of Italian women to minimum income policies," CHILD Working Papers wp14_07, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
    3. Anna Laura Mancini, 2007. "Labor supply responses of Italian women to minimum income policies," CHILD Working Papers wp14_07, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
    4. Ayala, Luis & Rodriguez, Magdalena, 2006. "The latin model of welfare: Do `insertion contracts' reduce long-term dependence?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 799-822, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    transfers; labor earnings; welfare; tax-system;

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • C34 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Truncated and Censored Models; Switching Regression Models

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