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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2011): Social security - overseas

Social networks, employment and insurance

F. Bloch

CESifo Economic Studies, vol. 57, 2011, p. 183-202

This article discusses applications of social network theory to employment and health policies. Job contact networks help workers find employment and risk-sharing networks help villagers in developing countries insure against illness. In both applications, recent advances in network theory have shed new light on the issues, relating the structure of the social network to economic outcomes. Job contact and risk sharing networks are two prominent examples of how recent game theoretic tools can be applied to study the interaction between social structures and economic activities.

Utilization of employment tax credits: an analysis of the Empowerment Zone wage tax credit

A. Hanson

Public Budgeting and Finance, vol.31, Spring 2011, p. 23-36

Since the start of the Empowerment Zone programme in 1995, the US federal government has offered a generous tax credit to employers to offset the wages paid to residents of impoverished inner city and rural areas. This relatively new form of targeting a wage tax credit is based on the residence of the employee and the location of the firm rather than on personal circumstances. The Employment Zone wage tax credit is currently the largest wage tax credit in terms of dollars claimed, with almost $250m claimed in 2002. This paper develops a method for calculating a national use rate for the Employment Zone wage credit and gives estimates based on data from the Internal Revenue Service and census.

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