August 2010

IZA DP No. 5130: The Desirability of Workfare as a Welfare Ordeal – Revisited

In this paper we challenge the conventional wisdom that using workfare as a supplementary screening device to means-testing is socially undesirable when the government objective is welfarist, namely, to ensure that all members of society will attain some minimal level of utility. Our argument suggests that when misreporting of income by welfare claimants is sufficiently manifest, introducing work requirements for welfare eligibility economizes on government expenditure and is socially desirable.