Labor Market: Past, Present, and Future

The Redistribution Recession

Major subsidies and regulations intended to help the poor and unemployed were changed in more than a dozen ways after 2007. Economist Casey B. Mulligan argues that many of these changes were reasonable reactions to economic events, with the intention of helping people endure the recession, but they also reduced incentives for people to work and businesses to hire. He measures the startling changes in implicit tax rates that resulted from a labyrinth of new and expanded “social safety net” programs, and quantifies the effects of these changes on the labor market and the economy.