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An Evaluation of the Working Income Tax Benefit


  • William Scarth
  • Lei Tang


The federal government has implemented an earned income tax credit what it has called the Working Income Tax Benefit in the 2007 Budget. Edmund Phelps has argued that the earned income tax credit in the United States should be replaced with an employment subsidy. This paper assesses the importance of Phelps' concern, and related issues, for Canada. This debate is important for two reasons: the plight of those blocked by the "welfare wall" is dire, and the entire community has an interest in lower structural unemployment in an environment that involves an aging population and an accompanying labour shortage.

Suggested Citation

  • William Scarth & Lei Tang, 2007. "An Evaluation of the Working Income Tax Benefit," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 220, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:220

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Kremer, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-575.
    2. Thomas Moutos & William Scarth, 2003. "Some Macroeconomic Consequences of Basic Income and Employment Subsidies," CESifo Working Paper Series 916, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    4. Nada Eissa & Austin Nichols, 2005. "Tax-Transfer Policy and Labor-Market Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 88-93, May.
    5. David Neumark & William Wascher, 2011. "Does a Higher Minimum Wage Enhance the Effectiveness of the Earned Income Tax Credit?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 64(4), pages 712-746, July.
    6. Neumark, David & Wascher, William, 2007. "Minimum Wages, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Employment: Evidence from the Post-Welfare Reform Era," IZA Discussion Papers 2610, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    More about this item


    earned income tax credit; employment subsidy; open economy;

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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