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Wage Subsidies, Work Incentives, and the Reform of the Austrian Welfare System

Author

Listed:
  • Steiner, Viktor

    () (Free University of Berlin)

  • Wakolbinger, Florian

    () (University of Linz)

Abstract

We analyze the labor supply and income effects of a needs-based minimum benefit system ("Bedarfsorientierte Mindestsicherung") to be introduced in Austria by the end of this/beginning of next year. The aim of this reform is to reduce poverty as well as increasing employment rates of recipients of social assistance. On the basis of a behavioral microsimulation model we show that this new system will slightly increase incomes for the poorest households and slightly reduce labor supply due to the generous allowances for marginal employment under the current and the planned regulations of unemployment assistance. As an alternative, we analyze a reform proposal which reduces financial incentives for marginal employment not covered by social security, and rewards working longer hours by a wage subsidy. Although this alternative reform would yield modest positive labor supply effects, a relatively large number of households would suffer income losses.

Suggested Citation

  • Steiner, Viktor & Wakolbinger, Florian, 2010. "Wage Subsidies, Work Incentives, and the Reform of the Austrian Welfare System," IZA Discussion Papers 5191, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5191
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bingley, Paul & Walker, Ian, 1997. "The Labour Supply, Unemployment and Participation of Lone Mothers in In-Work Transfer Programmes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1375-1390, September.
    2. Viktor Steiner & Katharina Wrohlich & Peter Haan & Johannes Geyer, 2012. "Documentation of the Tax-Benefit Microsimulation Model STSM: Version 2012," Data Documentation 63, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. 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.
    4. Hans-Werner Sinn & Christian Holzner & Wolfgang Meister & Wolfgang Ochel & Martin Werding, 2006. "Aktivierende Sozialhilfe 2006 - das Kombilohn-Modell des ifo Instituts," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 59(02), pages 06-27, January.
    5. Blundell, Richard & Ham, John & Meghir, Costas, 1987. "Unemployment and Female Labour Supply," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(388a), pages 44-64, Supplemen.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    work incentives; labor supply; social safety system; microsimulation;

    JEL classification:

    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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