Optimality of workfare with heterogeneous preferences Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • With the standard non-linear income taxation framework with heterogeneity of preferences, in this paper the optimality of workfare as a screening tool is examined. It is assumed that workfare does not serve as a human capital investment, participation is mandatory, and administrative costs are negligible. Imposing alternative cardinalizations on individuals utilities allows for the possibility that the government optimally redistributes income to or from high disutility of labour individuals. Under either case, it is never optimal to impose workfare on these individuals. It is also shown that non-productive workfare can be an efficient policy tool, in contrast to the results found in Besley and Coate (1995), Brett (1998), and Beaudry and Blackorby (1997).

publication date

  • February 2000