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Anti-poverty Income Transfers in the U.S.: A Framework for the Evaluation of Policy Reforms

Author

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  • Salvador Ortigueira

    (Department of Economics, University of Miami)

  • Nawid Siassi

    (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Universit¨atsstrasse)

Abstract

We develop a dynamic model of labor supply, consumption, savings and marriage decisions to study the behavioral responses of low-income workers to anti-poverty income transfers in the U.S. The model is calibrated to match moments from a sample of non-college-educated workers with children drawn from the 2014 Annual Social and Economic Supplement. The categorical, asset and income eligibility criteria of the transfer programs, along with the income and payroll taxes, yield complex budget constraints and introduce a web of interactions whose effects we identify and measure. We examine the workers' behavioral responses across the model's equilibrium distribution over living arrangements, labor productivities, wealth and number of children. Then we use the model to assess the effects of three recent proposals to reform the U.S. tax-transfer system, including the "21st Century Worker Tax Cut Act" and the "Tax Reform Act of 2014". A core objective of these proposals is the mitigation of the disincentives introduced by the Earned Income Tax Credit to married mothers' labor market participation.

Suggested Citation

  • Salvador Ortigueira & Nawid Siassi, 2016. "Anti-poverty Income Transfers in the U.S.: A Framework for the Evaluation of Policy Reforms," Working Papers 2016-04, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mia:wpaper:2016-04
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Anti-poverty income transfers; household decisions; cohabitation and marriage Publication Status: Under Review;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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