IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/lvl/laeccr/9708.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Welfare Benefits, Minimum Wage Rate and the Duration of Welfare Spells: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Canada

Author

Listed:
  • Fortin, Bernard
  • Lacroix, Guy

Abstract

In this paper we analyze the impact of benefits on the length of welfare spells. It introduces a ``natural experiment'' approach of comparing the length of welfare spells before and after a major reform of the welfare program that took place in the Province of Québec in August 1989. An important feature of this reform was the abolishment of discrimination based on age that applied to the benefits single individuals and childless couples below the age of 30 were entitled to. With the reform, their monthly benefits rose from $173 ($ 1986) to $425, an increase of over 145%. To analyze the impact of the reform, we utilize a semi-parametric duration model with time-varying covariates such as welfare benefits, minimum wage rate, unemployment rate, etc. We find that benefits have an important impact on spell duration of individuals below 30 years of age. We also find that the minimum wage rate has an adverse effect on the duration of individuals in the 18--24 age group but a positive effect on those in the 25--29 age group. Finally, our estimates suggest that the reform increased the expected duration on welfare from 2 to 4.5 months.

Suggested Citation

  • Fortin, Bernard & Lacroix, Guy, 1997. "Welfare Benefits, Minimum Wage Rate and the Duration of Welfare Spells: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Canada," Cahiers de recherche 9708, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  • Handle: RePEc:lvl:laeccr:9708
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.ecn.ulaval.ca/w3/recherche/cahiers/1997/9708.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
    2. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-782, July.
    3. Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1988. "Economic Duration Data and Hazard Functions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 646-679, June.
    4. Michael Baker & Samuel A. Rea, 1998. "Employment Spells And Unemployment Insurance Eligibility Requirements," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 80-94, February.
    5. Hoynes, Hilary & MaCurdy, Thomas, 1994. "Has the Decline in Benefits Shortened Welfare Spells?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 43-48, May.
    6. Fortin, Bernard & Truchon, Michel & Beausejour, Louis, 1993. "On reforming the welfare system : Workfare meets the negative income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 119-151, June.
    7. Katz, Lawrence F. & Meyer, Bruce D., 1990. "The impact of the potential duration of unemployment benefits on the duration of unemployment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 45-72, February.
    8. O'Neill, June A & Bassi, Laurie J & Wolf, Douglas A, 1987. "The Duration of Welfare Spells," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(2), pages 241-248, May.
    9. Allen, Douglas W, 1993. "Welfare and the Family: The Canadian Experience," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 201-223, January.
    10. Moffitt, Robert, 1983. "An Economic Model of Welfare Stigma," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1023-1035, December.
    11. Christian Belzil, 1993. "An Empirical Model of Job-to-Job Transition with Self-Selectivity," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(3), pages 536-551, August.
    12. Ham, John C & Rea, Samuel A, Jr, 1987. "Unemployment Insurance and Male Unemployment Duration in Canada," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(3), pages 325-353, July.
    13. Han, Aaron & Hausman, Jerry A, 1990. "Flexible Parametric Estimation of Duration and Competing Risk Models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(1), pages 1-28, January-M.
    14. Heckman, James J & Borjas, George J, 1980. "Does Unemployment Cause Future Unemployment? Definitions, Questions and Answers from a Continuous Time Model of Heterogeneity and State Dependence," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 47(187), pages 247-283, August.
    15. Anderson, Patricia M, 1992. "Time-Varying Effects of Recall Expectation, a Reemployment Bonus, and Job Counseling on Unemployment Durations," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(1), pages 99-115, January.
    16. Olsen, Randall J & Smith, D Alton & Farkas, George, 1986. "Structural and Reduced-Form Models of Choice among Alternatives in Continuous Time: Youth Employment under a Guaranteed Jobs Program," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(2), pages 375-394, March.
    17. Dolton, Peter J & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 1995. "Leaving Teaching in the UK: A Duration Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 431-444, March.
    18. Hanoch, Giora & Honig, Marjorie, 1978. "The labor supply curve under income maintenance programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-16, February.
    19. Nickell, Stephen J, 1979. "Estimating the Probability of Leaving Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1249-1266, September.
    20. Blank, Rebecca M., 1989. "Analyzing the length of welfare spells," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 245-273, August.
    21. Arulampalam, Wiji & Stewart, Mark B, 1995. "The Determinants of Individual Unemployment Durations in an Era of High Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 321-332, March.
    22. Michael Charette & Ronald Meng, 1994. "The Determinants of Welfare Participation of Female Heads of Household in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(2), pages 290-306, May.
    23. Lancaster, Tony, 1979. "Econometric Methods for the Duration of Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 939-956, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Fortin, Bernard, 1997. "Dépendance à l’égard de l’aide sociale et réforme de la sécurité du revenu," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 73(4), pages 557-573, décembre.
    2. Dalit Contini & Matteo Richiardi, 2009. "Welfare stigma with decreasing employability," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 90, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
    3. Gerard J. van den Berg & Bas van der Klaauw & Jan C. van Ours, 2004. "Punitive Sanctions and the Transition Rate from Welfare to Work," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 211-241, January.
    4. Picot, Garnett & Frenette, Marc, 2003. "La vie apres l'aide sociale : le bien-etre economique des personnes qui ont cesse de toucher de l'aide sociale au Canada dans les annees 90," Direction des études analytiques : documents de recherche 2003192f, Statistics Canada, Direction des études analytiques.
    5. Hilary W. Hoynes & Kenneth Y. Chay & Dean Hyslop, 2004. "True State Dependence In Monthly Welfare Participation:A Nonexperimental Analysis," Working Papers 533, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    6. Picot, Garnett & Frenette, Marc, 2003. "Life After Welfare: The Economic Well-being of Welfare Leavers in Canada During the 1990s," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2003192e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    7. Guy Lacroix & Gino Santarossa & Pierre Gagné, 2003. "Une analyse de la dynamique de la dépendance à l'assistance-emploi des populations natives et immigrantes québécoises," CIRANO Project Reports 2003rp-14, CIRANO.
    8. Hilary W. Hoynes & Kenneth Y. Chay & Dean Hyslop, 2004. "True State Dependence In Monthly Welfare Participation:A Nonexperimental Analysis," Working Papers 2, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    9. Stephen Whelan, 2010. "The Interaction between Income Support Programs," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 24(4), pages 407-440, December.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Barrett, Garry F., 2000. "The effect of educational attainment on welfare dependence: Evidence from Canada," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 209-232, August.
    2. Bernard Fortin & Guy Lacroix & Jean-François Thibault, 1999. "The Interaction of UI and Welfare, and the Dynamics of Welfare Participation of Single Parents," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 25(s1), pages 115-132, November.
    3. Li, Xianghong & Smith, Barry, 2015. "Diagnostic analysis and computational strategies for estimating discrete time duration models—A Monte Carlo study," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 187(1), pages 275-292.
    4. Stephen P. Jenkins & Carlos García-Serrano, 2000. "Re-employment Probabilities for Spanish Men: What Role Does the Unemployment Benefit System Play?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 216, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Fortin, Bernard & Lacroix, Guy & Drolet, Simon, 2004. "Welfare benefits and the duration of welfare spells: evidence from a natural experiment in Canada," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1495-1520, July.
    6. Baker, Michael & Melino, Angelo, 2000. "Duration dependence and nonparametric heterogeneity: A Monte Carlo study," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 357-393, June.
    7. Mingliang Li, 2006. "High school completion and future youth unemployment: new evidence from High School and Beyond," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(1), pages 23-53, January.
    8. Dragana Djurdjevic, 2005. "Unemployment and Under-Employment: The Case of Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 141(I), pages 23-70, March.
    9. Böheim, René & Taylor, Mark P, 2000. "Unemployment Duration and Exit States in Britain," CEPR Discussion Papers 2500, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Knut Roed & Tao Zhang, 2003. "Does Unemployment Compensation Affect Unemployment Duration?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(484), pages 190-206, January.
    11. George Neumann, 1996. "Search Models and Duration Data," Econometrics 9602008, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 07 Mar 1996.
    12. Van den Berg, Gerard J., 2001. "Duration models: specification, identification and multiple durations," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 55, pages 3381-3460, Elsevier.
    13. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pc:p:3085-3139 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Bent Jesper Christensen & Malene Kallestrup‐Lamb, 2012. "The Impact Of Health Changes On Labor Supply: Evidence From Merged Data On Individual Objective Medical Diagnosis Codes And Early Retirement Behavior," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(S1), pages 56-100, June.
    15. Murphy, Anthony, 1996. "A piecewise-constant hazard-rate model for the duration of unemployment in single-interview samples of the stock of unemployed," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 177-183, May.
    16. Chantal Cases, 1994. "Durées de chômage et comportements d'offre de travail : une revue de la littérature," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 113(2), pages 155-170.
    17. Mark C. Foley, 1997. "Determinants of Unemployment Duration in Russia," Working Papers 779, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    18. Aysit Tansel & H. Mehmet Taşçı, 2010. "Hazard Analysis of Unemployment Duration by Gender in a Developing Country: The Case of Turkey," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 24(4), pages 501-530, December.
    19. Arranz, José M. & Alba, Alfonso & Muñoz-Bullón, Fernando, 2006. "Unemployment duration, unemployment benefits and recalls," DEE - Working Papers. Business Economics. WB wb066218, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía de la Empresa.
    20. Richard Layte & Tim Callan, 2001. "Unemployment, Welfare Benefits and the Financial Incentive to Work," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 32(2), pages 103-129.
    21. Chantal Cases, 1996. "Assurance-chômage et offre de travail," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 291(1), pages 139-150.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Welfare Benefits; Natural Experiment; Semi-Parametric; Duration Model;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lvl:laeccr:9708. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/delvlca.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Manuel Paradis (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/delvlca.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.