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An Empirical Analysis of Welfare Dependence in the Czech Republic

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  • Guzi, Martin

    (Masaryk University)

Abstract

Paper demonstrates the existence of a welfare trap in the Czech Republic, created by the tax and social security systems. Combining individual data from the Czech Labor Force Survey and the Czech Household Income Survey, the analysis exploits the difference between the available social benefits and the net household income when a person is employed. This information allows us to calculate the net replacement rate based on the parameters of the taxation system and rules for means-tested social benefits at the household level. Estimates imply the existence of a welfare trap, which means that individuals who receive relatively higher social benefits are also more likely to remain unemployed. It is shown that the most affected groups are those with low education and long unemployment spells. Furthermore, the paper documents the disadvantaged position of women in the Czech labor market. The estimates imply that women outflows to employment are particularly influenced by the high social benefits, and the existence of a welfare trap persists even when the job-search intensity is controlled. This finding contributes to the discussion on the persistent and large unemployment gender gap in the Czech Republic. The results of the analysis support policy improvements towards low-income households. A better harmonization of tax and social security systems is necessary in order to ensure that the incentives to leave unemployment are not hampered by high social benefits.

Suggested Citation

  • Guzi, Martin, 2013. "An Empirical Analysis of Welfare Dependence in the Czech Republic," IZA Discussion Papers 7478, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7478
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    Cited by:

    1. Franziska Gassmann & Lorena Zardo Trindade, 2019. "Effect of Means-Tested Social Transfers on Labor Supply: Heads Versus Spouses—An Empirical Analysis of Work Disincentives in the Kyrgyz Republic," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 31(2), pages 189-214, April.
    2. Alzbeta Mullerova, 2017. "Family policy and maternal employment in the Czech transition: a natural experiment," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(4), pages 1185-1210, October.
    3. Petr Janský & Klára Kalíšková & Daniel Münich, 2016. "Does the Czech Tax and Benefit System Contribute to One of Europe’s Lowest Levels of Relative Income Poverty and Inequality?," Eastern European Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 54(3), pages 191-207, May.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    labour supply; net replacement rate; welfare trap;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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