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Trade Adjustment Assistance: Welfare and Incentive Effects of Payments to Displaced Workers

  • James A. Brander
  • Barbara J. Spencer

We analyze the welfare effects of conditional trade adjustment assistance (i.e. assistance that is received only if displaced workers remain unemployed), and compare the conditional program with unconditional assistance. Taking the level of assistance as exogenous, we show that either the conditional or unconditional program may impose greater efficiency costs, depending on underlying parameters. We then introduce an explicit social welfare function and solve for the optimal level of assistance for each program. Finally, we compare the optimized values of the two programs. If the distribution of wage offers is uniform, the unconditional program is welfare superior.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3071.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3071.

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Date of creation: Aug 1989
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of International Economics, vol. 36, no. 3/4, May 1994, pp. 239-261.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3071
Note: ITI IFM
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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  1. Clarete, Ramon L. & Whalley, John, 1987. "Comparing the marginal welfare costs of commodity and trade taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 357-362, August.
  2. Feldstein, Martin & Poterba, James, 1984. "Unemployment insurance and reservation wages," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 141-167.
  3. Ballard, Charles L & Shoven, John B & Whalley, John, 1985. "General Equilibrium Computations of the Marginal Welfare Costs of Taxes in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 128-38, March.
  4. Blau, David M. & Robins, Philip K., 1986. "Job search, wage offers, and unemployment insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 173-197, March.
  5. Bhagwati, Jagdish N. & Brecher, Richard A. & Srinivasan, T. N., 1984. "DUP activities and economic theory," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 291-307, April.
  6. Stuart, Charles E, 1984. "Welfare Costs per Dollar of Additional Tax Revenue in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 352-62, June.
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