Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Adding to the Dead Zone

Yesterday I updated my list of employment-reducing policies that are new or significantly expanded during this recession. Policies like these have their largest effect when work incentives would be dull even without them. Thus, this widely cited chart (reproduced below) is especially interesting, because it includes only programs that pre-dated the recession (social security and income taxes, EITC, food stamps, Medicaid, Section 8 Housing, and TANF). So redrawing this picture to include the items on my list would show an even wider "dead zone", and economics tells us that the widening would have an especially large aggregate effect (as compared to a situation where there was no pre-recession dead zone).

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