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Would Financial Incentives for Leaving Welfare Lead Some People to Stay on Welfare Longer? An Experimental Evaluation of 'Entry Effects' in the SSP

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  • David Card
  • Philip K. Robins
  • Winston Lin

Abstract

The Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP) is a large scale social experiment being conducted in Canada to evaluate the effects of an earnings supplement (or subsidy) for long-term welfare recipients who find a full-time job and leave income assistance. The supplement is available to single parents who have received income assistance for a year or more, and typically doubles the gross take-home pay of recipients. A critical issue in the evaluation of SSP is whether the availability of the supplement would lead some new income assistance recipients to prolong their stay on welfare in order to gain eligibility. A separate experiment was conducted to measure the magnitude of this effect. One half of a group of new applicants was informed that they would be eligible to receive SSP if they stayed on income assistance for a year; the other half was randomly assigned to a control group. Our analysis indicates a very modest exit

Suggested Citation

  • David Card & Philip K. Robins & Winston Lin, 1998. "Would Financial Incentives for Leaving Welfare Lead Some People to Stay on Welfare Longer? An Experimental Evaluation of 'Entry Effects' in the SSP," NBER Working Papers 6449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6449
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Moffitt, Robert, 1992. "Incentive Effects of the U.S. Welfare System: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 1-61, March.
    2. Keeley, Michael C, et al, 1978. "The Estimation of Labor Supply Models Using Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(5), pages 873-887, December.
    3. LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-620, September.
    4. BRADLEY R. Schiller & C. NIELSEN Brasher, 1993. "Effects Of Workfare Saturation On Afdc Caseloads," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 11(2), pages 39-49, April.
    5. David Card & Philip K. Robins, 1996. "Do Financial Incentives Encourage Welfare Recipients to Work? Early Findings from the Canadian Self Sufficiency Project," Working Papers 738, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    6. repec:fth:prinin:359 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Moffitt, 2002. "The role of randomized field trials in social science research: a perspective from evaluations of reforms of social welfare programs," CeMMAP working papers CWP23/02, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    2. Robert A. Moffitt, 2003. "The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program," NBER Chapters,in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 291-364 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Card, David, 2000. "Reforming the Financial Incentives of the Welfare System," IZA Discussion Papers 172, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Philip K. Robins & Charles Michalopoulos, 2001. "Using financial incentives to encourage welfare recipients to become economically self-sufficient," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sep, pages 105-123.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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