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Earnings Disregards in Canada, Britain, and Israel

Ernie S. Lightman
Social Service Review
Vol. 64, No. 4 (Dec., 1990), pp. 602-616
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30000976
Page Count: 15
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Earnings Disregards in Canada, Britain, and Israel
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Abstract

This article examines and compares the earnings disregards or work-incentive programs of Canada, Britain, and Israel, finding a broad similarity in approach among the programs (though details differ). While ostensibly facilitating a transition from welfare to paid work through gradual benefit reduction, each country, in practice, erects formidable financial barriers: benefit reduction or tax-back rates that rapidly exceed 100 percent. Reasons for such practices include the fundamental complexity of the individual work decision and the central role of job availability, alongside the continuing attraction of poor-law attitudes at the societal level. The attraction of the work-incentive approach, notwithstanding its limited practical utility, lies in its voluntary nature and reliance on inducements rather than penalties.

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