Work requirements are “fourth best” option

What works better than work requirements to get poor people to work?

During a roundtable discussion on work requirements in anti-poverty programs, Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute 1) general economic growth, 2) removing barriers to participation in economic growth such as occupational licenses and post-prison criminal sanctions on workers, and 3) wage supplements for low-income workers. Imposing work requirements for government programs, Tanner added, is more likely intended to keep people off those programs than to encourage them to work.

The event coincided with the release of a Hamilton Project paper on work requirements that raises doubts about how they are targeted and how well they accomplish their stated objective.

Joseph Coletti / Senior Fellow

Joe Coletti is a senior fellow at the John Locke Foundation focused on fiscal policy issues. He previously headed the North Carolina Government Efficiency and Reform initiativ...

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