This paper studies the impact of existing and universal transfer programs on vacancy creation, wages, and welfare using a search-and-matching model with heterogeneous agents and on-the-job human capital accumulation. We calibrate the general equilibrium model to match key moments concerning unemployment, wage and wealth distributions, as well as the distribution of EITC and transfers. In addition, unemployment insurance benefits are related to pre-unemployment earnings and subject to exhaustion, after which agents can only rely on transfers and savings.
We design a new survey to elicit quantifiable, interpersonally comparable beliefs about pecuniary and non-pecuniary benefits and costs to maternal labor supply decisions, to study how beliefs vary across and within different groups in the population and to analyze how those beliefs relate to choices. In terms of pecuniary returns, mothers’ (and fathers’) later-life earnings are perceived to increase the more hours the mother works while her child is young.