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Welfare Programs and Labor Supply

  • Robert Moffitt

The labor supply and other work incentive effects of welfare programs have long been a central concern in economic research. Work has also been an increasing focus of policy reforms in the U.S., culminating with a number of major policy changes in the 1990s whose intent was to increase employment and earnings levels of welfare recipients and other disadvantaged individuals. This paper reviews the economic research on this topic, covering both the theoretical models that have been developed as well as the empirical findings from econometric studies of the effects of existing welfare programs on labor supply.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9168.

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Date of creation: Sep 2002
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Publication status: published as Moffitt, Robert A., 2002. "Welfare programs and labor supply," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 34, pages 2393-2430 Elsevier.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9168
Note: LS PE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Robert A. Moffitt, 1999. "The Effect of Pre-PRWORA Waivers on AFDC Caseloads and Female Earnings, Income, and Labor Force Behavior," JCPR Working Papers 89, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  2. Jeffrey Grogger, 2004. "Time Limits and Welfare Use," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  3. David M. Blau, 2000. "Child Care Subsidy Programs," NBER Working Papers 7806, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. repec:fth:inseep:2001-25 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Paul Beaudry & Charles Blackorby, 1998. "Taxes and Employment Subsidies in Optimal Redistribution Programs," NBER Working Papers 6355, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Hoynes, Hilary Williamson, 1996. "Welfare Transfers in Two-Parent Families: Labor Supply and Welfare Participation under AFDC-UP," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 295-332, March.
  7. Nada Eissa & Hilary Williamson Hoynes, 2000. "The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Labor Supply of Married Couples," Public Economics 9912001, EconWPA.
  8. Thomas J. Nechyba, 2001. "Social Approval, Values, and AFDC: A Reexamination of the Illegitimacy Debate," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 637-666, June.
  9. Nada Eissa & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1995. "Labor Supply Response to the Earned Income Tax Credit," NBER Working Papers 5158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. A. S. Yelowitz, . "The Medicaid notch, labor supply, and welfare participation: Evidence from eligibility expansions," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1084-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  11. Garfinkel, Irwin, 1973. "A Skeptical Note on "The Optimality" of Wage Subsidy Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 447-53, June.
  12. M. Keane & R. Moffitt, . "A structural model of multiple welfare program participation and labor supply," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1080-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  13. Katherine Cuff, 2000. "Optimality of workfare with heterogeneous preferences," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(1), pages 149-174, February.
  14. Fortin, B. & Truchon, M., 1990. "On Reforming the Welfare System: Workfare Meets the Negative Income Tax," Cahiers de recherche 9016, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  15. James J. Heckman, 2000. "Causal Parameters And Policy Analysis In Economics: A Twentieth Century Retrospective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(1), pages 45-97, February.
  16. Besley, T. & Coate, S., 1990. "Understanding Welfare Stigma: Taxpayer Resentment And Statistical Discrimination," Papers 42, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  17. Moffitt, Robert, 1983. "An Economic Model of Welfare Stigma," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1023-35, December.
  18. Michael P. Keane, 1995. "A new idea for welfare reform," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 2-28.
  19. Richard Blundell & Thomas MaCurdy, 1998. "Labour supply: a review of alternative approaches," IFS Working Papers W98/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  20. Murray, Michael P., 1980. "A reinterpretation of the traditional income-leisure model, with application to in-kind subsidy programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 69-81, August.
  21. Ellwood, David T., 2000. "The Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Social Policy Reforms on Work, Marriage, and Living Arrangements," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 4), pages 1063-1106, December.
  22. Leonesio, Michael V, 1988. "In-Kind Transfers and Work Incentives," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(4), pages 515-29, October.
  23. Gary Burtless, 1986. "The work response to a guaranteed income: a survey of experimental evidence," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 30, pages 22-59.
  24. Robert F. Schoeni & Rebecca M. Blank, 2000. "What Has Welfare Reform Accomplished? Impacts on Welfare Participation, Employment, Income, Poverty, and Family Structure," Working Papers 00-02, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  25. Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1971. "Optimal Mechanisms for Income Transfer," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(3), pages 324-34, June.
  26. Ritva Immonen & Ravi Kanbur & Michael Keen & Matti Tuomala, 1994. "Tagging and taxing: the optimal use of categorical and income information in designing tax/transfer schemes," IFS Working Papers W94/05, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  27. Parsons, Donald O., 1996. "Imperfect 'tagging' in social insurance programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1-2), pages 183-207, October.
  28. Cécile Boyer & Christian Gourieroux & Gaëlle Le Fol, 2001. "Ajustement des prix bid et ask en présence d'information privée," Working Papers 2001-25, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  29. Signe-Mary McKernan & Robert I. Lerman & Nancy Pindus & Jesse Valente, 2000. "The Relationship between Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Locations, Changing Welfare Policies, and the Employment of Single Mothers," JCPR Working Papers 192, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  30. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 1999. "Welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Labor Supply of Single Mothers," NBER Working Papers 7363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Kesselman, Jonathan R., 1976. "Tax effects on job search, training, and work effort," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 255-272, October.
  32. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1995. "The Design of Income Maintenance Programmes," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(2), pages 187-221, April.
  33. Gottschalk, Peter, 1988. "The Impact of Taxes and Transfers on Job Search," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(3), pages 362-75, July.
  34. Miller, Robert A. & Sanders, Seth G., 1997. "Human capital development and welfare participation," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-43, June.
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