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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Scholz, John Karl
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1993

    This paper examines the participation rate of the earned income tax credit (EITC). After examining a variety of data sources on EITC recipiency, my preferred estimates indicate that 80 to 86 percent of eligible taxpayers received the credit in 1990, which implies fewer than 2.1 million taxpayers entitled to the credit failed to receive it. I then examine factors correlated with nonparticipation and find that many are consistent with rational or voluntary explanations for nonparticipation. The paper concludes with a discussion of the labor market incentives and antipoverty effectiveness of the credit before and after the August 1993 expansion of the EITC. (author abstract)

    This paper examines the participation rate of the earned income tax credit (EITC). After examining a variety of data sources on EITC recipiency, my preferred estimates indicate that 80 to 86 percent of eligible taxpayers received the credit in 1990, which implies fewer than 2.1 million taxpayers entitled to the credit failed to receive it. I then examine factors correlated with nonparticipation and find that many are consistent with rational or voluntary explanations for nonparticipation. The paper concludes with a discussion of the labor market incentives and antipoverty effectiveness of the credit before and after the August 1993 expansion of the EITC. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Ozawa, Martha N.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1995

    Initially a program to relieve the burdens of the social security tax on low-income taxpayers, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is rapidly becoming a major income support program for the working poor and their families.  This article discusses the effects of the EITC on the income status and work incentives of welfare families in New York City and Texas, assesses the distributive effect of the EITC, and investigates the extent to which the EITC helps welfare families escape poverty through work.  It then places the EITC in a broader policy perspective, describing its ripple effects on this country's treatment of the working poor versus the nonworking poor, support of children, and attempts to cope with the increasing disparity in the incomes of high-wage and low-wage workers. (author abstract)

    Initially a program to relieve the burdens of the social security tax on low-income taxpayers, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is rapidly becoming a major income support program for the working poor and their families.  This article discusses the effects of the EITC on the income status and work incentives of welfare families in New York City and Texas, assesses the distributive effect of the EITC, and investigates the extent to which the EITC helps welfare families escape poverty through work.  It then places the EITC in a broader policy perspective, describing its ripple effects on this country's treatment of the working poor versus the nonworking poor, support of children, and attempts to cope with the increasing disparity in the incomes of high-wage and low-wage workers. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Scholz, John Karl
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1996

    The earned income tax credit (EITC) is or will soon be the largest cash or near-cash benefit provided to low-income households in the United States. The EITC is a credit on the federal income tax available to working poor families with children. In 1994 the credit equals 26.3% of earned income (wages, salaries, self-employment income, and farm income) for taxpayers with one child. Because benefits increase with earned income (up to a certain point), the EITC seems to encourage work and therefore is a popular antipoverty programme. (Author abstract)

    The earned income tax credit (EITC) is or will soon be the largest cash or near-cash benefit provided to low-income households in the United States. The EITC is a credit on the federal income tax available to working poor families with children. In 1994 the credit equals 26.3% of earned income (wages, salaries, self-employment income, and farm income) for taxpayers with one child. Because benefits increase with earned income (up to a certain point), the EITC seems to encourage work and therefore is a popular antipoverty programme. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Eissa, Nada; Liebman, Jeffrey B.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1996

    This paper examines the impact of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (TRA86), which included an expansion of the earned income tax credit, on the labor force participation and hours of work of single women with children. We identify the impact of TRA86 by comparing the change in labor supply of single women with children to the change for single women without children. We find that between 1984-1986 and 1988-1990, single women with children increased their relative labor force participation by up to 2.8 percentage points. We observe no change in the relative hours worked by single women with children who were already in the labor force. (author abstract)

    This paper examines the impact of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (TRA86), which included an expansion of the earned income tax credit, on the labor force participation and hours of work of single women with children. We identify the impact of TRA86 by comparing the change in labor supply of single women with children to the change for single women without children. We find that between 1984-1986 and 1988-1990, single women with children increased their relative labor force participation by up to 2.8 percentage points. We observe no change in the relative hours worked by single women with children who were already in the labor force. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: The Council of Economic Advisers
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    The strongest labor market in a generation has resulted in particularly large gains among low-wage and disadvantaged workers. From 1979 to 1993, the real wages of low-wage workers fell sharply. Recently, however, low-wage workers have experienced large increases in real wages: For low-wage men, wages are up since 1996 by 5.7 percent after inflation. And for low-wage women, real wages have risen 6.1 percent.

    These strong wage gains have been accompanied by a steep decline in unemployment for low-skilled workers. In 1993, 11.1 percent of workers without a high school degree were unemployed; today that rate has fallen to 7.2 percent. Among high school graduates (with no college), the rate has fallen from 6.6 to 3.9 percent. Low-wage workers are thus gaining both by working more and by earning more for every hour that they work.

    The effects of a strong economy have been reinforced by successful policies designed to make work pay. Expansions in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) since 1993 are supplementing the incomes of low-wage working parents. The EITC is one of our...

    The strongest labor market in a generation has resulted in particularly large gains among low-wage and disadvantaged workers. From 1979 to 1993, the real wages of low-wage workers fell sharply. Recently, however, low-wage workers have experienced large increases in real wages: For low-wage men, wages are up since 1996 by 5.7 percent after inflation. And for low-wage women, real wages have risen 6.1 percent.

    These strong wage gains have been accompanied by a steep decline in unemployment for low-skilled workers. In 1993, 11.1 percent of workers without a high school degree were unemployed; today that rate has fallen to 7.2 percent. Among high school graduates (with no college), the rate has fallen from 6.6 to 3.9 percent. Low-wage workers are thus gaining both by working more and by earning more for every hour that they work.

    The effects of a strong economy have been reinforced by successful policies designed to make work pay. Expansions in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) since 1993 are supplementing the incomes of low-wage working parents. The EITC is one of our most successful programs for fighting poverty and encouraging work:

    • Lifts more than 4 million Americans out of poverty. The EITC lifted 4.3 million Americans out of poverty in 1997 -- more than double the number in 1993.
    • Dramatically reduces child poverty. In 1997, the EITC reduced the number of children living in poverty by 2.2 million. This report finds that over half of the decline in child poverty between 1993 and 1997 can be explained by changes in taxes, most importantly the EITC.
    • Encourages work among single women with children. In 1992, 73.7 percent of single women with children were in the labor force. In 1997, 84.2 percent of such women were in the labor force. The percentage of single women with children who received welfare and did not work has been cut by more than half -- from 19.3 percent in 1992 to 8.3 percent in 1997.[Based on CPS tabs by Liebman.] Research studies suggest that the increase in labor force participation among single mothers is strongly linked to the expansion in the EITC.

    Increases in the minimum wage have been important in raising the earnings of low-wage workers. Empirical research suggests that recent minimum wage increases have had little or no adverse effect on employment.

    The combined effects of the minimum wage and the EITC have dramatically increased the returns to work for families with children. Between 1993 and 1997, families with one child and one earner who worked full-time at the minimum wage (i.e., $4.72 in 1993 and $5.15 in 1997, in 1997 dollars) experienced a 14 percent -- $1,402 -- increase in their income, after inflation, just because of these two policies alone. Similar families with two children experienced a 27 percent -- $2,761 -- increase in their income. (author abstract)

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