NBER Working Papers by Dean Hyslop

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Working Papers

December 2006The Dynamic Effects of an Earnings Subsidy for Long-Term Welfare Recipients: Evidence from the SSP Applicant Experiment
with David Card: w12774
In the SSP Applicant Experiment, a random sample of new welfare entrants was informed that if they remained on welfare for a year they would become eligible for a generous earnings subsidy. Those who satisfied the waiting period and then left welfare and began working full time within the following year were entitled to receive payments for up to 36 months whenever they were off welfare and working full time. A simple optimizing model suggests that the program rules created an unusual sequence of incentives to: (1) prolong the initial spell on welfare for at least 12 months to become eligible for the subsidy offer; (2) establish subsidy entitlement by finding full time work and leaving welfare in the 12 to 24 month period after initial entry; and (3) choose work over welfare during the t...
July 2004Estimating the Effects of a Time Limited Earnings Subsidy for Welfare Leavers
with David Card: w10647
In the Self Sufficiency Program (SSP) welfare demonstration, members of a randomly assigned treatment group could receive a subsidy for full time work. The subsidy was available for three years, but only to people who began working full time within 12 months of random assignment. A simple optimizing model suggests that the eligibility rules created an 'establishment' incentive to find a job and leave welfare within a year of random assignment, and an 'entitlement' incentive to choose work over welfare once eligibility was established. Building on this insight, we develop an econometric model of welfare participation that allows us to separate the two effects and estimate the impact of the earnings subsidy on welfare entry and exit rates among those who achieved eligibility. The combination...
August 1999Measuring the Effects of Arbitration on Wage Levels: The Case of Police Officers
with Orley Ashenfelter: w7294
In this paper we provide an empirical evaluation of the effect that the provision of an arbitration statute has on the wage levels of police officers. We analyze the effect of arbitration on wages by comparing wage levels across political jurisdictions and over time using a sample of states. Two complementary data sources are used: panel data on state level wages of police officers, and individual level data on police officers from Decennial Censuses. The empirical results from both data sets are remarkably consistent and provide no robust evidence that the presence of arbitration statues has a consistent effect on overall wage levels. On average, the effect of arbitration is approximately zero, although there is substantial heterogeneity in the estimated effects across states.
April 1996Does Inflation "Grease the Wheels of the Labor Market"?
with David Card: w5538
If nominal wages are downward rigid, moderate levels of inflation may improve labor market efficiency by facilitating real wage cuts. In this paper we attempt to test the hypothesis that downward real wage changes occur more readily in higher-inflation environments. Using individual wage change data from two sources, we find that about 6-10 percent of workers experience nominally rigid wages in a 10- percent inflation environment. This proportion rises to over 15 percent at a 5 percent inflation rate. We use the assumption of symmetry to generate counterfactual distributions of real wage changes in the absence of rigidities. These counterfactual distributions suggest that a 1 percent increase in the inflation rate reduces the fraction of workers with downward-rigid wages by about 0.8 pe...

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