Fri, 12 Aug

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Macquarie Uni City Campus | Online

The Job Keeper Payment: How Good Are Wage Subsidies?

Authors: Timothy Watson and Tristram Sainsbury of the Australian National University; and Juha Tervala of the University of Helsinki

The Job Keeper Payment: How Good Are Wage Subsidies?

Time & Location

12 Aug, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm AEST

Macquarie Uni City Campus | Online, Level 24/123 Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

About the event

Timothy Watson from the Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis and the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University will present research investigating the effect of the JobKeeper Payment on payroll jobs and wages at the employer-level using novel Australian Government administrative datasets.

The research finds a cost per job-year saved of around $112,819 ($US80,959) over the program period, implying around 812,000 jobs were saved over this time. Weekly payroll wages were almost $1.1 billion ($US761 million) higher on average during the program period, implying wage benefits equivalent to around 60 per cent of program spending. Program effects appear highly persistent, suggesting cumulative benefits will be larger over time.

However, consistent with results regarding other wage subsidy and Short-time Work schemes, the findings also imply significant deadweight losses, with estimated job-years saved suggesting 80 per cent of payment recipients would likely have retained employment during the program period without receiving JobKeeper.

The paper also presents a medium-scale business cycle model featuring heterogeneous households and learning-by-doing in production to help map estimated costs per job-year saved to approximate output multipliers.

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