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Beyond tax credits and the minimum wage: the challenge of labour market inequality

Blundell, Richard; (2024) Beyond tax credits and the minimum wage: the challenge of labour market inequality. Fiscal Studies 10.1111/1475-5890.12361. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Since the turn of the millennium, the UK has relied almost exclusively on two policies to address the adverse consequences of low pay and labour market inequality: in-work tax credits and the minimum wage. Successful as these policies have been at supporting family incomes and propping up hourly wages at the bottom, increasing numbers of less-educated workers find themselves in low-quality jobs with negligible wage growth, little training and poor career prospects. Work by itself is rarely a route to earnings progression. This paper looks at the motivation behind the expansion of in-work tax credits in the face of growing wage inequality and in-work poverty. It focuses on the impact on longer-term outcomes through human capital and skills. It argues for a balance of policies that goes beyond tax credits and the minimum wage to foster individual wage growth and improve opportunities for career progression for less-educated workers.

Type: Article
Title: Beyond tax credits and the minimum wage: the challenge of labour market inequality
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1475-5890.12361
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/1475-5890.12361
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2024 The Authors. Fiscal Studies published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Institute for Fiscal Studies. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Good jobs; inequality; minimum wages; tax credits; welfare
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10188058
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