Optimal EITC in the Presence of Cultural Barriers for Labor Market Participation

Michel Strawczynski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In this paper I simulate the entrance to the labor market in the presence of cultural barriers that constraint labor market participation of low-income workers. In this case, an optimal EITC depends on social planner’s relative preferences for persistently unemployed and working poor. I check EITC optimality in the short run under different types of social planners - from mild inequality averse to Rawlsian; and different kinds of policy makers – conservative, who favors the Working Poor, and liberal, who tolerates cultural barriers and favors the unemployed. Using simulations, I find that the imposition of an EITC is optimal in all cases, except for a Rawlsian and liberal policy-maker under the unusual case of full compliance to minimum wage. By calibrating the model for Israel, a country with well-documented cultural barriers for labor market participation, I find that the proposed framework will remain relevant in the foreseeable future. In light of these results and of EITC documented advantages, its scare use in developed economies remains an open question that merits further research.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)233-259
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Labor Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

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© 2020, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Cultural barriers
  • EITC
  • Social planner


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