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New Reform Strategies and Welfare participation in Canada:

Author

Listed:
  • Nathan Berg

    () (Department of Economics, University of Otago, New Zealand)

  • Todd Gabel

    () (Middle Tennessee State University)

Abstract

This paper measures the extent to which declines in Canadian welfare participation were associated with novel and aggressive welfare reforms. Referred to as new reform strategies, these welfare policy variables are: work requirements, diversion, earning exemptions, and time limits. Controlling for province-specific benefit levels, eligibility requirements, GDP growth, labor market conditions and demographics, the data suggest that welfare participation rates were more than one percentage point lower (equivalent to at least a 13% decline in welfare participation) in provinces where new reforms were present. Work requirements with strong sanctions for non-compliance had the sharpest negative associations with participation rates. Adoption of new reform strategies explains at least 10 percent of observed declines in welfare participation from 1994 to 2009, roughly twice as much as cuts to benefit levels and stricter eligibility requirements can explain.

Suggested Citation

  • Nathan Berg & Todd Gabel, 2014. "New Reform Strategies and Welfare participation in Canada:," Working Papers 1402, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:otg:wpaper:1402
    as

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    File URL: http://www.otago.ac.nz/economics/news/otago078305.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2014
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Nathan Berg & Todd Gabel, 2013. "Effects of New Welfare Reform Strategies on Welfare Participation: Microdata Estimates from Canada," Working Papers 1304, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2013.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social Assistance; PRWORA; TANF; Work Requirements; Diversion; Earnings Exemptions; Time Limits; Natural Experiments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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