Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/93276
Authors: 
Dorsett, Richard
Oswald, Andrew J.
Year of Publication: 
2014
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Paper 7943
Abstract: 
Many politicians believe they can intervene in the economy to improve people's lives. But can they? In a social experiment carried out in the United Kingdom, extensive in-work support was randomly assigned among 16,000 disadvantaged people. We follow a sub-sample of 3,500 single parents for 5 ensuing years. The results reveal a remarkable, and troubling, finding. Long after eligibility had ceased, the treated individuals had substantially lower psychological well-being, worried more about money, and were increasingly prone to debt. Thus helping people apparently hurt them. We discuss a behavioral framework consistent with our findings and reflect on implications for policy.
Subjects: 
randomized controlled trials
government policy
in-work benefits
wage subsidies
well-being
happiness
JEL: 
I31
D03
D60
H11
J38
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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