Welfare Dependence and Self-Control: An Empirical Analysis
No 19, Working Paper Series from Economics Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney
We use data from Florida Transition Program, a welfare reform experiment in the 1990s, to estimate a discrete choice dynamic programming model of labor supply and welfare participation with potentially time-inconsistent individuals. The time preference parameters are identified through exclusion restrictions generated by welfare time limits. Around one-fourth of the individuals can be regarded as present-biased, and they exhibit a low degree of naivety. Time-inconsistency reduces income by 15 percent and the net tax contribution by almost half. Present-biased individuals are generally more responsive to policy changes than time-consistent individuals. By aggravating the commitment problem, an increase in welfare benefits reduces utility from a time-consistent perspective. An expansion of Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) can be revenue-neutral due to cross-subsidization between present-biased and time-consistent individuals. A “prowork time limit” is proposed as a more incentivizing policy than standard time limits. A dynamic nonwork tax that is triggered by past employment can generate strong commitment-related incentives and increase utility from a time-consistent perspective. The nonwork tax can be implemented as a targeting intervention, as an estimated 70 percent of present-biased individuals will adopt the policy as a commitment device.
Keywords: Welfare dependence; hyperbolic discounting; time limits; female labor supply; welfare reform; policy experiment; discrete choice dynamic programming (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I3 C3 J2 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 76 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dcm and nep-lma
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Journal Article: Welfare Dependence and Self-Control: An Empirical Analysis (2017)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:uts:ecowps:19
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in Working Paper Series from Economics Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney PO Box 123, Broadway, NSW 2007, Australia. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Duncan Ford ().