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In-Work Transfers in Good Times and Bad: Simulations for Ireland


  • Bargain, Olivier

    () (University of Bordeaux)

  • Doorley, Karina

    () (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)


In-work transfers are often seen as a good trade-off between redistribution and efficiency, as they alleviate poverty among low-wage households while increasing financial incentives to work. The present study explores the consequences of extending these transfers in Ireland, where support for low-wage households has been of limited scope. The employment and poverty effects of alternative policies are analyzed thanks to counterfactual simulations built using a micro-simulation model, the Living in Ireland Survey 2001 and labour supply estimations. Firstly, we study the effect of recent extensions of the existing scheme, the Family Income Supplement (FIS), and of its replacement by the refundable tax credit in force in the UK. Secondly, little is known about the impact of macro-level changes on the distribution of resources at the household level, which is particularly relevant in a country deeply affected by the current economic downturn. We suggest a preliminary analysis of the capacity of alternative in-work transfer scenarios to cushion the negative impact of earnings losses and cuts in the minimum wage.

Suggested Citation

  • Bargain, Olivier & Doorley, Karina, 2009. "In-Work Transfers in Good Times and Bad: Simulations for Ireland," IZA Discussion Papers 4644, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4644

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bargain, Olivier & Orsini, Kristian, 2006. "In-work policies in Europe: Killing two birds with one stone?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 667-697, December.
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    3. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Julian McCrae & Costas Meghir, 2000. "The labour market impact of the working families’ tax credit," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 75-103, March.
    4. Nolan, Brian & Gannon, Brenda & Layte, Richard & Watson, Dorothy & Whelan, Christopher T. & Williams, James, 2002. "Monitoring Poverty Trends in Ireland: Results from the 2000 Living in Ireland survey," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS45.
    5. Olivier Bargain & Marco Caliendo & Peter Haan & Kristian Orsini, 2010. "“Making work pay” in a rationed labor market," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(1), pages 323-351, January.
    6. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Olivier Bargain & Claire Keane, 2010. "Tax–Benefit‐revealed Redistributive Preferences Over Time: Ireland 1987–2005," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 24(s1), pages 141-167, December.

    More about this item


    take-up; labour supply; microsimulation; working poor; welfare;

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • 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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