Financial incentives and welfare reform in the United States

Philip K. Robins, Charles Michalopoulos, Elsie Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This paper uses a microsimulation model to ask whether welfare recipients in the United States would work full-time if offered an earnings supplement that was conditioned on full-time employment. The simulations suggest that the earnings supplement would increase full-time employment, with little additional cash transfer cost to the government. In contrast, financial incentives currently being used by many of the states are increasing employment and income, but are encouraging primarily part-time employment. Encouraging full-time employment is particularly important in light of new time limits on welfare receipt. Faced with a loss of welfare benefits, many recipients may find that part-time earnings do not allow them to be economically self-sufficient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-150
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Policy Analysis and Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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