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The Labor-Supply Effects and Costs of Alternative Negative Income Tax Programs

By Michael C. Keeley, Philip K. Robins, Robert G. Spiegelman and Richard W. West


Results from the Seattle and Denver Income Maintenance Experiments are used to predict nationwide labor-supply effects and costs of six alternative negative income tax programs. To make the predictions, a labor-supply model parameterizing the experimental treatments is estimated using experimental data. The parameters of this model are introduced into a microsimulation model called Microanalysis of Transfers to Households (MATH). The simulations employ the March 1975 Current Population Survey (CPS), which is a weighted random sample of the U.S. population. The simulations are performed within a partial equilibrium framework under the assumption that the demand for low-income labor is perfectly elastic. The simulation results indicate that coverage, costs, and labor-supply effects of a national NIT program vary widely with the parameters of the program.

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