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Putting Structure on the RD Design: Social Transfers and Youth Inactivity in France

  • Bargain, Olivier


    (University of Aix-Marseille II)

  • Doorley, Karina



Natural experiments provide explicit and robust identifying assumptions for the estimation of treatment effects. Yet their use for policy design is often limited by the difficulty in extrapolating on the basis of reduced-form estimates of policy effects. On the contrary, structural models allow us to conduct ex ante analysis of alternative policy situations. However, their internal validity is often questioned. In this paper, we suggest combining the two approaches by putting structure on a regression discontinuity (RD) design. The RD estimation exploits the fact that childless single individuals under 25 years of age are not eligible for social assistance in France. The behavioral model is identified by the discontinuity and by an additional exclusion restriction on the form of financial incentives to work. We investigate the performance of the behavioral model for predictions further away from the threshold, check external validity and use the model to predict important counterfactual policies, including the extension of social assistance to young people and the role of in-work benefit components.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7508.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7508
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  1. Angus Deaton, 2009. "Instruments of development: Randomization in the tropics, and the search for the elusive keys to economic development," Working Papers 1128, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
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  7. Blundell, Richard, 2006. "Earned income tax credit policies: Impact and optimality: The Adam Smith Lecture, 2005," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 423-443, August.
  8. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Tore Olsen & Luigi Pistaferri, 2009. "Adjustment Costs, Firm Responses, and Micro vs. Macro Labor Supply Elasticities: Evidence from Danish Tax Records," NBER Working Papers 15617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Immervoll, Herwig & Kleven, Henrik Jacobsen & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup & Saez, Emmanuel, 2005. "Welfare Reform in European Countries: A Microsimulation Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 1810, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Denis Fougère & Francis Kramarz & Julien Pouget, 2009. "Youth Unemployment and Crime in France," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(5), pages 909-938, 09.
  11. Marco Francesconi & Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2007. "The Socioeconomic Consequences of "In-Work" Benefit Reform for British Lone Mothers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(1).
  12. Joshua Angrist & Miikka Rokkanen, 2012. "Wanna Get Away? RD Identification Away from the Cutoff," NBER Working Papers 18662, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Hoynes, Hilary Williamson, 1996. "Welfare Transfers in Two-Parent Families: Labor Supply and Welfare Participation under AFDC-UP," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 295-332, March.
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  17. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00202299 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Magali Beffy & Moshe Buchinsky & Denis Fougère & Thierry Kamionka & Francis Kramarz, 2006. "The Returns to Seniority in France (and Why are They Lower than in the United States ?)," Working Papers 2006-05, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
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  25. Bargain, Olivier & Doorley, Karina, 2011. "Caught in the trap? Welfare's disincentive and the labor supply of single men," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9-10), pages 1096-1110, October.
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