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  • Individual Author: Hamad, Rita; Rehkopf, David H.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2015

    Background

    Economic interventions are increasingly recognised as a mechanism to address perinatal health outcomes among disadvantaged groups. In the US, the earned income tax credit (EITC) is the largest poverty alleviation programme. Little is known about its effects on perinatal health among recipients and their children. We exploit quasi-random variation in the size of EITC payments to examine the effects of income on perinatal health.

    Methods

    The study sample includes women surveyed in the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (n = 2985) and their children born during 1986–2000 (n = 4683). Outcome variables include utilisation of prenatal and postnatal care, use of alcohol and tobacco during pregnancy, term birth, birthweight, and breast-feeding status. We first examine the health effects of both household income and EITC payment size using multivariable linear regressions. We then employ instrumental variables analysis to estimate the causal effect of income on perinatal health, using EITC payment size as an instrument for household income.

    ...

    Background

    Economic interventions are increasingly recognised as a mechanism to address perinatal health outcomes among disadvantaged groups. In the US, the earned income tax credit (EITC) is the largest poverty alleviation programme. Little is known about its effects on perinatal health among recipients and their children. We exploit quasi-random variation in the size of EITC payments to examine the effects of income on perinatal health.

    Methods

    The study sample includes women surveyed in the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (n = 2985) and their children born during 1986–2000 (n = 4683). Outcome variables include utilisation of prenatal and postnatal care, use of alcohol and tobacco during pregnancy, term birth, birthweight, and breast-feeding status. We first examine the health effects of both household income and EITC payment size using multivariable linear regressions. We then employ instrumental variables analysis to estimate the causal effect of income on perinatal health, using EITC payment size as an instrument for household income.

    Results

    We find that EITC payment size is associated with better levels of several indicators of perinatal health. Instrumental variables analysis, however, does not reveal a causal association between household income and these health measures.

    Conclusions

    Our findings suggest that associations between income and perinatal health may be confounded by unobserved characteristics, but that EITC income improves perinatal health. Future studies should continue to explore the impacts of economic interventions on perinatal health outcomes, and investigate how different forms of income transfers may have different impacts. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hoynes, Hilary; Miller, Doug; Simon, David
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2015

    This paper uses quasi-experimental variation from federal tax reform to evaluate the effect of the EITC on infant health outcomes. We find that the EITC reduces the incidence of low birth weight and increases mean birth weight: a $1,000 treatment-on-the-treated leads to a 2 to 3 percent decline in low birth weight. Our results suggest that the candidate mechanisms include more prenatal care and less negative health behaviors (smoking). Additionally, we find a shift from public to private insurance coverage, and for some a reduction in insurance overall, indicating a potential change in the quality and perhaps quantity of coverage. (Author abstract)

    This paper uses quasi-experimental variation from federal tax reform to evaluate the effect of the EITC on infant health outcomes. We find that the EITC reduces the incidence of low birth weight and increases mean birth weight: a $1,000 treatment-on-the-treated leads to a 2 to 3 percent decline in low birth weight. Our results suggest that the candidate mechanisms include more prenatal care and less negative health behaviors (smoking). Additionally, we find a shift from public to private insurance coverage, and for some a reduction in insurance overall, indicating a potential change in the quality and perhaps quantity of coverage. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Strully, Kate W.; Rehkopf, David H.; Xuanc, Ziming
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2010

    This study estimates the effects of prenatal poverty on birth weight using changes in state Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) as a natural experiment. We seek to answer two questions about poverty and child wellbeing. First, are there associations between prenatal poverty and lower birth weights even after factoring out unmeasured potential confounders? Because birth weight predicts a range of outcomes across the life course, lower birth weights that result from poverty may have lasting consequences for children’s life chances. Second, how have recent expansions of a work-based welfare program (i.e., the EITC) affected maternal and infant health? In recent decades, U.S. poverty relief has become increasingly tied to earnings and labor markets, but the consequences for children’s wellbeing remain controversial. We find that state EITCs increase birth weights and reduce maternal smoking. However, results related to AFDC/TANF and varying EITC effects across maternal ages raise cautionary messages. (author abstract)

    This study estimates the effects of prenatal poverty on birth weight using changes in state Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) as a natural experiment. We seek to answer two questions about poverty and child wellbeing. First, are there associations between prenatal poverty and lower birth weights even after factoring out unmeasured potential confounders? Because birth weight predicts a range of outcomes across the life course, lower birth weights that result from poverty may have lasting consequences for children’s life chances. Second, how have recent expansions of a work-based welfare program (i.e., the EITC) affected maternal and infant health? In recent decades, U.S. poverty relief has become increasingly tied to earnings and labor markets, but the consequences for children’s wellbeing remain controversial. We find that state EITCs increase birth weights and reduce maternal smoking. However, results related to AFDC/TANF and varying EITC effects across maternal ages raise cautionary messages. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Shapiro, Isaac; Trisi, Danilo
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    The child poverty rate fell to a record low of 15.6 percent in 2016, a little more than half its 1967 level of 28.4 percent. This finding emerges from a new poverty series we have developed that combines the Census Bureau’s poverty data for 2016 with long-term poverty data compiled by Columbia University researchers. The new poverty series relies on the federal government’s Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), a comprehensive yardstick that most analysts believe provides a more accurate assessment of the resources available to low-income households to meet basic needs than the “official” poverty measure does. That’s because the SPM counts the income that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program), rental subsidies, and other federal non-cash benefits and refundable tax credits provide, while the “official” poverty measure ignores such benefits. (Author introduction)

    The child poverty rate fell to a record low of 15.6 percent in 2016, a little more than half its 1967 level of 28.4 percent. This finding emerges from a new poverty series we have developed that combines the Census Bureau’s poverty data for 2016 with long-term poverty data compiled by Columbia University researchers. The new poverty series relies on the federal government’s Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), a comprehensive yardstick that most analysts believe provides a more accurate assessment of the resources available to low-income households to meet basic needs than the “official” poverty measure does. That’s because the SPM counts the income that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program), rental subsidies, and other federal non-cash benefits and refundable tax credits provide, while the “official” poverty measure ignores such benefits. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Tran, Victoria; Dwyer, Kelly; Minton, Sarah
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    If a single mother earns $25,000 per year, can she receive a subsidy to help pay for child care? What if she decides to attend a training program? If she does qualify for a subsidy, how much will she have to pay out of pocket? The answers to these questions depend on a family’s exact circumstances, including the ages of the children, the number of people in the family, income, and where they live. Child care subsidies are provided through a federal block grant program called the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). CCDF provides funding to the States, Territories, and Tribes. They use the money to administer child care subsidy programs for low-income families. This brief provides a graphical overview of some of the CCDF policy differences across States/Territories. It includes information about eligibility requirements, family application and terms of authorization, family payments, and policies for providers. (Excerpt from author introduction)

    If a single mother earns $25,000 per year, can she receive a subsidy to help pay for child care? What if she decides to attend a training program? If she does qualify for a subsidy, how much will she have to pay out of pocket? The answers to these questions depend on a family’s exact circumstances, including the ages of the children, the number of people in the family, income, and where they live. Child care subsidies are provided through a federal block grant program called the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). CCDF provides funding to the States, Territories, and Tribes. They use the money to administer child care subsidy programs for low-income families. This brief provides a graphical overview of some of the CCDF policy differences across States/Territories. It includes information about eligibility requirements, family application and terms of authorization, family payments, and policies for providers. (Excerpt from author introduction)

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