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Heterogeneous Treatment and Self-Selection in a Wage Subsidy Experiment

  • Brouillette, Dany

    (Université Laval)

  • Lacroix, Guy

    ()

    (Université Laval)

The Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP) is a research and demonstration project that offered a generous time-limited income supplement to randomly selected welfare applicants under two conditions. The first, the eligibility condition, required that they remain on welfare for at least twelve months. The second, the qualification condition, required that they find a full-time job within twelve months after establishing eligibility. In this paper we focus on a neglected and important feature of the program, namely that the financial reward for becoming qualified is inversely related to the expected wage rate. Under very simple assumptions we show that those who have a low expected wage rate have a clear incentive to establish eligibility. Empirical non-parametric evidence strongly suggests that individuals self-select into eligibility. We jointly estimate a participation equation and a wage equation that are correlated through individual random effects. Our results show that the omission of self-selectivity into qualification translates into slightly overestimated treatment effects.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3738.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Public Economics, 2010, 94 (7-8), 479-492
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3738
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  1. David Card & Dean R. Hyslop, 2004. "Estimating the Effects of a Time Limited Earnings Subsidy for Welfare Leavers," NBER Working Papers 10647, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Postel-Vinay & Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium wage dispersion with worker and employer heterogeneity," Working Papers 155908, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
  3. Bloemen, H.G., 1992. "Job search theory, labour supply and unemployment duration," Discussion Paper 1992-50, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  4. Dale T. Mortensen, 1977. "Unemployment insurance and job search decisions," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(4), pages 505-517, July.
  5. Zvi Eckstein & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1989. "The Specification and Estimation of Dynamic Stochastic Discrete Choice Models: A Survey," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(4), pages 562-598.
  6. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium wage dispersion with worker and employer heterogeneity," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/dc0ckec3fcb, Sciences Po.
  7. Dubin, Jeffrey A. & Rivers, Douglas, 1993. "Experimental estimates of the impact of wage subsidies," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1-2), pages 219-242, March.
  8. Card, David & Hyslop, Dean R., 2009. "The dynamic effects of an earnings subsidy for long-term welfare recipients: Evidence from the self sufficiency project applicant experiment," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 153(1), pages 1-20, November.
  9. Ham, John C & LaLonde, Robert J, 1996. "The Effect of Sample Selection and Initial Conditions in Duration Models: Evidence from Experimental Data on Training," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(1), pages 175-205, January.
  10. Bontemps, Christian & Robin, Jean-Marc & Van den Berg, Gerard J, 1999. "An Empirical Equilibrium Job Search Model with Search on the Job and Heterogeneous Workers and Firms," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1039-74, November.
  11. Card, David & Robins, Philip K., 2005. "How important are "entry effects" in financial incentive programs for welfare recipients? Experimental evidence from the Self-Sufficiency Project," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 113-139.
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