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The Effect of the Means Testing of Venefits on Household Income and the Incentives to Work of the Wives of Unemployed Men

Aedín Doris ()

Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series from Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth

Abstract: This paper assesses the effect of the means testing of benefits on the income of households n which the head is unemployed in Britain. Potential houselds income is simulated using microdata from the 1983- 1984 Living Standards during Unemployment Survey for different hours of work of the wives of unemployed men at the three dates before and after their husbands become unemployed. The resultant income patterns for different labour suppy options are then compared with the expect patterns, and discrepancies explained. Data on wives' attitudes to work are also examined to assess to what extent attitudes are shaped by the degree of means testing.

Date: 1999-04
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