Is the Welfare System Really a Poverty Trap? New Light on an Old Question

Does the American welfare system adequately encourage the poor to achieve self-sufficiency, or is it a “poverty trap” that locks welfare beneficiaries into a lifetime of dependency? The question has been debated endlessly with no clear win for either side.

In large part, the dispute turns on a concept known as the effective marginal tax

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Economist, Senior Fellow at Niskanen Center, Yale Ph.D. Interests include environment, health care policy, social safety net, economic freedom.

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Ed Dolan

Ed Dolan

Economist, Senior Fellow at Niskanen Center, Yale Ph.D. Interests include environment, health care policy, social safety net, economic freedom.

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