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Workfare in an efficiency wage model

Listed author(s):
  • Meier, Volker

The impacts of introducing work requirements for welfare recipients are studied in an efficiency wage model. If the workfare package is not mandatory, it will reduce employment, profits, and utility levels of employed and unemployed workers. In contrast, mandatory effort requirements will generally raise both employment and profits and reduce the tax rate. The impact on the net wage is ambiguous. Changes of utility levels of employed and unemployed workers have the same sign as the variation in the net wage. The possibility of a Pareto improvement may explain the widespread support for welfare to work experiments.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 19183.

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Date of creation: 2008
Publication status: Published in Empirica 2 35(2008): pp. 165-178
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:19183
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  1. Chambers, Robert G., 1989. "Workfare or welfare?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 79-97, October.
  2. Robert A. Moffitt, 2003. "The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program," NBER Chapters,in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 291-364 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Peter Fredriksson & Bertil Holmlund, 2006. "Optimal unemployment insurance design: Time limits, monitoring, or workfare?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 13(5), pages 565-585, September.
  4. Coate, Stephen, 1995. "Altruism, the Samaritan's Dilemma, and Government Transfer Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 46-57, March.
  5. Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Torben Tranas, 2005. "Optimal Workfare with Voluntary and Involuntary Unemployment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(3), pages 459-474, 09.
  6. Dye, Ronald A. & Antle, Rick, 1986. "Cost-minimizing welfare programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 259-265, July.
  7. Robert Moffitt, 1999. "Explaining Welfare Reform: Public Choice and the Labor Market," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 6(3), pages 289-315, August.
  8. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1105-1166, December.
  9. Brett, Craig, 1998. "Who Should Be on Workfare? The Use of Work Requirements as Part of an Optimal Tax Mix," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 607-622, October.
  10. Katherine Cuff, 2000. "Optimality of workfare with heterogeneous preferences," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(1), pages 149-174, February.
  11. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1988. "Cash versus Kind, Self-selection, and Efficient Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 691-700, September.
  12. David T. Ellwood, 2000. "Anti-Poverty Policy for Families in the Next Century: From Welfare to Work--and Worries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 187-198, Winter.
  13. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 2000. "Welfare to Work in the U.S.: A Model for Other Developed Nations?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 7(1), pages 95-114, February.
  14. Nancy E. Rose, 2001. "Public employment programs, workfare, and welfare reform," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 33(3), pages 281-286, September.
  15. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
  16. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1995. "The Design of Income Maintenance Programmes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(2), pages 187-221.
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