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Estimating Labor Supply Responses and Welfare Participation: Using a Natural Experiment to Validate a Structural Labor Supply Model

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  • Hansen, Jörgen

    (Concordia University)

  • Liu, Xingfei

    (University of Alberta)

Abstract

In this paper, we formulate and estimate an economic model of labor supply and welfare participation. The model is estimated on data on single men from Quebec drawn from the 1986 Canadian Census. Budget sets for each work-welfare combination – accounting for income taxes, tax credits and welfare benefit rules – are derived using a microsimulation model. We validate our model by comparing reactions to a welfare reform that implied a dramatic increase in welfare benefits predicted by our model to those obtained by using a regression discontinuity approach. The results show that our model is capable of recovering actual changes in labor supply and welfare participation. We also show the advantage of having estimated a structural model by illustrating how labor supply and welfare participation change when benefit levels change.

Suggested Citation

  • Hansen, Jörgen & Liu, Xingfei, 2011. "Estimating Labor Supply Responses and Welfare Participation: Using a Natural Experiment to Validate a Structural Labor Supply Model," IZA Discussion Papers 5718, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5718
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Arthur van Soest, 1995. "Structural Models of Family Labor Supply: A Discrete Choice Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 63-88.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bargain, Olivier & Doorley, Karina, 2013. "Putting Structure on the RD Design: Social Transfers and Youth Inactivity in France," IZA Discussion Papers 7508, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Thoresen, Thor O. & Vattø, Trine E., 2019. "An up-to-date joint labor supply and child care choice model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 51-73.
    3. Nicole Bosch & Miriam Gielen & Egbert Jongen & Mauro Mastrogiacomo (DNB & voorheen CPB), 2013. "A structural analysis of labour supply elasticities in the Netherlands," CPB Discussion Paper 235, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    4. de Boer, Henk-Wim & Jongen, Egbert L. W., 2020. "Analysing Tax-Benefit Reforms in the Netherlands: Using Structural Models and Natural Experiments," IZA Discussion Papers 12892, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. BARGAIN Olivier & DOORLEY Karina, 2016. "The Effect of Social Benefits on Youth Employment: Combining RD and a Behavioral Model," LISER Working Paper Series 2016-12, Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER).
    6. Kabátek, Jan, 2015. "Essays on public policy and household decision making," Other publications TiSEM 8cdb178e-ad98-42e5-a7e1-b, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    7. Tibor Paul Hanappi & Sandra Müllbacher, 2016. "Tax incentives and family labor supply in Austria," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 961-987, December.
    8. Kabatek, J., 2013. "Iteration Capping For Discrete Choice Models Using the EM Algorithm," Other publications TiSEM 4310a245-ceca-488a-996d-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    9. Johannes Geyer & Peter Haan & Katharina Wrohlich, 2014. "The Effects of Family Policy on Mothers' Labor Supply: Combining Evidence from a Structural Model and a Natural Experiment," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1366, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    10. Kabatek, J., 2013. "Iteration Capping For Discrete Choice Models Using the EM Algorithm," Discussion Paper 2013-019, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    11. Nicole Bosch & Miriam Gielen & Egbert Jongen & Mauro Mastrogiacomo (DNB & voorheen CPB), 2013. "A structural analysis of labour supply elasticities in the Netherlands," CPB Discussion Paper 235.rdf, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    12. Liu, Xingfei, 2014. "Educational Attainment of Second-Generation Immigrants: A U.S.-Canada Comparison," IZA Discussion Papers 8685, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Thor O. Thoresen & Trine E. Vattø, 2013. "Validation of structural labor supply model by the elasticity of taxable income," Discussion Papers 738, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    14. D. Vandelannoote & P. Vanleenhove & A. Decoster & J. Ghysels & G. Verbist, 2015. "Maternal employment: the impact of triple rationing in childcare," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 685-707, September.
    15. Chiara Daniela Pronzato, 2015. "Fighting Lone Mothers’ Poverty Through In-Work Benefits: Methodological Issues and Policy Suggestions," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 61(1), pages 95-122.
    16. Anna Kurowska & Michal Myck & Katharina Wrohlich, 2012. "Family and Labor Market Choices: Requirements to Guide Effective Evidence-Based Policy," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1234, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    17. Chiara Daniela Pronzato, 2014. "Fighting Lone Mothers’ Poverty through In-Work Benefits. Methodological Issues and Policy Suggestions," CHILD Working Papers Series 23, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.
    18. Peter Ericson & Lennart Flood & Nizamul Islam, 2015. "Taxes, wages and working hours," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 503-535, September.
    19. Henk-Wim de Boer & Egbert Jongen & Jan Kabatek, 2014. "The effectiveness of fiscal stimuli for working parents," CPB Discussion Paper 286, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    20. Pronzato, Chiara D., 2012. "Comparing Quasi-Experimental Designs and Structural Models for Policy Evaluation: The Case of a Reform of Lone Parental Welfare," IZA Discussion Papers 6803, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    21. Henk-Wim de Boer & Egbert Jongen & Jan Kabatek, 2014. "The effectiveness of fiscal stimuli for working parents," CPB Discussion Paper 286.rdf, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    22. Jorgen Hansen & Xingfei Liu, 2015. "Estimating labour supply responses and welfare participation: Using a natural experiment to validate a structural labour supply model," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 48(5), pages 1831-1854, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    regression discontinuity; natural experiment; unobserved heterogeneity; welfare participation; labor supply; microsimulation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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