Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 20, 2009

The Optimal Policy Combination of the Minimum Wage and the Earned Income Tax Credit

Miki Malul and Israel Luski


This paper evaluates the consequences of minimum wage (MW) and earned income tax credit (EITC) in a model with heterogeneous costs of investment in human capital. Our model studies the effects of a MW and an EITC on employment, productivity, and total output for two types of groups: those with a low cost of acquiring human capital and a long horizon of earnings (Type Ys); and those with a high cost of acquiring human capital and a short horizon of earnings (Type Os). We assume that Type Ys consider investing in human capital while Type Os have a certain predetermined level of human capital and do not consider changing it. Our model suggests that a government might consider imposing a MW exclusively for Type Y individuals and an EITC exclusively for Type O individuals. Some of the best effects of each policy would therefore be obtained and some of the worst consequences would be avoided.

Published Online: 2009-11-20

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