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NonoLabor-Supply Responses to the Income Mafntenance Experfments

By Eric A. Hanushek


The concept of a negative income tax has been actively discussed and promoted, at least by economists, for over two decades. High on the list of motivations for this are the inefficiencies and inequities of patchwork welfare programs that make arbitrary distinctions among potential recipients and concentrate on specific consumption items. The possibility of extremely high marginal tax rates on benefits, resulting in part from enrollment in multiple programs, also has contributed to interest in a negative income tax. The majority of the policy discussion has focused on the labor supply effects, which have so much potential influence not only on program costs but also on public perceptions of the welfare system. The centerpiece of the analysis from the various income maintenance experiments has always been the statistical manipulation of labor supply data. Invariably, however, residual analyses, typically described as "non-labor-supply results, " are also included, and a portion of these results that do not involve the structure of the family forms the subject of this paper. Since the focus of the experiments was so confined to labor force issues, design features in the other areas were not given the same degree of attention. At the same time, the detailed data have provided a good base for a variety of analyses, heightening the benefits of the experiments per se. The tag-on nature of much of this research is understandable. First, in a wide variety of possible non-labor-forc

Year: 2013
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