Alternative labor market policies to increase economic self-sufficiency : mandating higher wages, subsidizing employment, and increasing productivity / David Neumark.

By: Neumark, DavidContributor(s): National Bureau of Economic ResearchMaterial type: TextTextSeries: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research) ; no. 14807.Publication details: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, 2009Description: 42, [19] p. : ill. ; 22 cmSubject(s): Manpower policy | Wages -- Government policyLOC classification: HB1 | .N38 no. 14807Online resources: Click here to access online Summary: I review evidence on alternative labor market policies that could potentially improve economic self-sufficiency via mandating higher wages, subsidizing employment, or increasing productivity. The evidence indicates that the minimum wage is an ineffective policy to promote economic self-sufficiency, entailing employment losses without any corresponding distributional benefits via higher wages. In contrast, living wage laws appear to present a more favorable tradeoff. Labor supply incentives, in particular the EITC, appear effective, as a more generous EITC boosts employment of single mothers and in so doing raises incomes and earnings of low-income families. There is some evidence that wage subsidies increase employment and earnings, but problems of stigmatization resulting from eligibility for wage subsidy programs can dissipate the gains, and wage subsidies entail substantial administrative difficulties. Finally, a newer but growing literature on school-to-work provides some evidence that school-to-work programs boost labor market attachment, skill formation, wages, and earnings.
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Research Papers HB1.N38 no. 14807 (Browse shelf (Opens below)) 1 Available 0013125326

Includes bibliographical references.

I review evidence on alternative labor market policies that could potentially improve economic self-sufficiency via mandating higher wages, subsidizing employment, or increasing productivity. The evidence indicates that the minimum wage is an ineffective policy to promote economic self-sufficiency, entailing employment losses without any corresponding distributional benefits via higher wages. In contrast, living wage laws appear to present a more favorable tradeoff. Labor supply incentives, in particular the EITC, appear effective, as a more generous EITC boosts employment of single mothers and in so doing raises incomes and earnings of low-income families. There is some evidence that wage subsidies increase employment and earnings, but problems of stigmatization resulting from eligibility for wage subsidy programs can dissipate the gains, and wage subsidies entail substantial administrative difficulties. Finally, a newer but growing literature on school-to-work provides some evidence that school-to-work programs boost labor market attachment, skill formation, wages, and earnings.

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