The Integration of Child Tax Credits and Welfare: Evidence from the National Child Benefit Program
In 1998, the Canadian government introduced a new child tax credit. The innovation in the program was its integration with social assistance (welfare). Some provinces agreed to subtract the new federally-paid benefits from provincially-paid social assistance, partially lowering the welfare wall. Three provinces did not integrate benefits, providing a quasi-experimental framework for estimation. We find large changes in social assistance take-up and employment in provinces that provided the labour market incentives to do so. In our sample, the integration of benefits can account for around one third of the total decline in social assistance receipt between 1997 and 2000.
Published: Milligan, Kevin and Mark Stabile. “The integration of child tax credits and welfare: Evidence from the Canadian National Child Benefit program.” Journal of Public Economics 91, 1-2 (February, 2007): 305-326.