Économie et Statistique n° 467-468 - 2014 Measuring saver preferences - Introduction and three papers about the "Active solidarity income" (RSA) - How does the taxable income of households react to taxation?
The effect of the RSA on the rate of return to employment for beneficiaries. An analysis of the twofold difference according to number and age of children
On 1st June 2009, the active solidarity income (RSA) replaced the minimum income allowance (RMI), the single parent allowance (API) and the associated financial assistance schemes for the return to employment, with the main objective of encouraging the start of or return to a professional activity. The study aims to verify whether the RSA has fulfilled part of this objective by comparing, before and after the reform, the rates of return to work for beneficiaries according to the family composition of the household. We draw on the fact that within each family configuration (single person or couple), the financial incentive to return to employment has evolved differently depending on the presence and number of children. After analysing a model case which calculates, for a certain number of family configurations, the financial gains associated with returning to work within the framework of the RMI, API and RSA schemes, assumptions about the activity behaviour of beneficiaries are envisaged and a procedure for testing these assumptions is proposed. This is followed by estimates of rates of return to work by gender. These are separated for single people and couples so as to highlight, using the method of double differences, contrasting changes in these rates according to the number of children and their age. The results obtained from data from the Caisse Nationale des Allocations Familiales (CNAF) listing the vast majority of beneficiaries between November 2007 and May 2011 suggest that the implementation of the RSA has helped to increase the rate of return to work for single mothers and particularly single mothers with young children. While the data do not show a real effect of the RSA on the employment of men, they further reinforce the idea of a stronger return to part-time employment for women in couples.