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Alternative Labor Market Policies to Increase Economic Self-Sufficiency: Mandating Higher Wages, Subsidizing Employment, and Raising Productivity

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  • Neumark, David

    () (University of California, Irvine)

Abstract

The principal means by which individuals and families achieve economic self-sufficiency is through labor market earnings. As a consequence, it is natural for policy makers to look to interventions that increase the ability of individuals and families to achieve an adequate standard of living from participating in the labor market – a goal that has become even more prominent in the post-welfare reform era in the United States. This paper discusses some key policies that are used or can be used to increase economic self-sufficiency by increasing earnings, including mandating higher wages, subsidizing work, and increasing skill formation. Specifically, it reviews evidence on some of the main policies currently in place in the United States, including minimum and living wages, the Earned Income Tax Credit, wage subsidies, and school-to-work programs. Finally, it considers alternative policies that have recently been proposed.

Suggested Citation

  • Neumark, David, 2008. "Alternative Labor Market Policies to Increase Economic Self-Sufficiency: Mandating Higher Wages, Subsidizing Employment, and Raising Productivity," IZA Discussion Papers 3355, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3355
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bernhard, Sarah & Gartner, Hermann & Stephan, Gesine, 2008. "Wage subsidies for needy job-seekers and their effect on individual labour market outcomes after the German reforms," IAB Discussion Paper 200821, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    2. Müller, Kai-Uwe & Steiner, Viktor, 2008. "Would a Legal Minimum Wage Reduce Poverty? A Microsimulation Study for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 3491, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Pio Baake & Vanessa von Schlippenbach, 2008. "Upfront Payments and Listing Decisions," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 793, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Kai-Uwe Müller & Viktor Steiner, 2008. "Would a Legal Minimum Wage Reduce Poverty?: A Microsimulation Study for Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 791, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Adolf STROOMBERGEN & Peter HALL, "undated". "General Equilibrium Analysis of Bio-Energy Options," EcoMod2010 259600160, EcoMod.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    school-to-work; wage subsidies; earned income tax credit; living wages; minimum wages;

    JEL classification:

    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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