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Do Welfare Policies Matter for Labor Market Aggregates? Quantifying Safety Net Work Incentives since 2007

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  • Casey B. Mulligan

Abstract

Inflation-adjusted spending on means-tested subsidies has increased sharply since 2007, and most of the growth was due to changes in eligibility rules, and increases in subsidies per eligible person, rather than increases in the number of people who would have been eligible under pre-recession subsidy rules. In 2007, the non-elderly parts of the safety net paid about $10,000 in benefits per person-year that non-elderly heads of household or spouses were unemployed. By the end of 2009, the annual subsidy rate per person-year unemployed was up to $16,000. As a result, the average private returns to employment are substantially less than they were in 2007. One result of the paper is a monthly time series for the overall safety net's marginal income tax rate from the point of view of the average marginal worker.

Suggested Citation

  • Casey B. Mulligan, 2012. "Do Welfare Policies Matter for Labor Market Aggregates? Quantifying Safety Net Work Incentives since 2007," NBER Working Papers 18088, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18088
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    Cited by:

    1. Jeffrey Clemens, 2015. "The Minimum Wage and the Great Recession: Evidence from the Current Population Survey," NBER Working Papers 21830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Kuehn Lars-Alexander & Petrosky-Nadeau Nicolas & Zhang Lu, "undated". "An Equilibrium Asset Pricing Model with Labor Market Search," GSIA Working Papers 2010-E63, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    3. Nicolas Petrosky-Nadeau & Lu Zhang, "undated". "Unemployment Crises," GSIA Working Papers 2013-E5, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    4. Branch, William A. & Petrosky-Nadeau, Nicolas & Rocheteau, Guillaume, 2016. "Financial frictions, the housing market, and unemployment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 101-135.
    5. Robert E. Hall, 2015. "Quantifying the Lasting Harm to the US Economy from the Financial Crisis," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 71-128.
    6. Clemens, Jeffrey & Wither, Michael, 2014. "Just the Facts: Demographic and Cross-Country Dimensions of the Employment Slump," MPRA Paper 60228, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Nicolas Petrosky-Nadeau, 2014. "Credit, Vacancies and Unemployment Fluctuations," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(2), pages 191-205, April.
    8. Hall, R.E., 2016. "Macroeconomics of Persistent Slumps," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 2131-2181, Elsevier.
    9. Loukas Karabarbounis, 2014. "The Labor Wedge: MRS vs. MPN," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(2), pages 206-223, April.
    10. Hengjie Ai & Anmol Bhandari, 2021. "Asset Pricing With Endogenously Uninsurable Tail Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 89(3), pages 1471-1505, May.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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