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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: 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: Nam, Yunju; Kim, Youngmi; Clancy, Margaret; Zager, Robert; Sherraden, Michael
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2011

    This study examines the impacts of Child Development Accounts (CDAs) on account holding, saving, and asset accumulation for children, using data from the SEED for Oklahoma Kids experiment (SEED OK). SEED OK, a policy test of universal and progressive CDAs, provides a 529 college savings plan account to every infant in the treatment group with automatic account opening and an initial deposit. SEED OK also encourages treatment participants to open their own 529 accounts with an account opening incentive and a savings match. Using a sample of infants randomly selected from birth records (N = 2,670) and randomly assigned to treatment and control groups, this study runs probit and ordinary least squares (OLS) regressions. Analyses show significant differences between treatment and control groups in all outcome measures in the targeted accounts. Nearly 100 percent of the treatment group accepted the automatically opened state-owned account. Compared to 1 percent of the control group, 16 percent of the treatment group hold a participant-owned account. On average, the treatment group has...

    This study examines the impacts of Child Development Accounts (CDAs) on account holding, saving, and asset accumulation for children, using data from the SEED for Oklahoma Kids experiment (SEED OK). SEED OK, a policy test of universal and progressive CDAs, provides a 529 college savings plan account to every infant in the treatment group with automatic account opening and an initial deposit. SEED OK also encourages treatment participants to open their own 529 accounts with an account opening incentive and a savings match. Using a sample of infants randomly selected from birth records (N = 2,670) and randomly assigned to treatment and control groups, this study runs probit and ordinary least squares (OLS) regressions. Analyses show significant differences between treatment and control groups in all outcome measures in the targeted accounts. Nearly 100 percent of the treatment group accepted the automatically opened state-owned account. Compared to 1 percent of the control group, 16 percent of the treatment group hold a participant-owned account. On average, the treatment group has saved significantly larger amounts in participant-owned accounts, although a difference in savings amount is modest between the two groups ($47 vs. $13). A difference in total 529 assets of $1,040 is estimated between the treatment and control groups. These early findings from SEED OK suggest that CDAs have positive effects on savings and asset accumulation for children's future development. Further research is required to test long-term cost effectiveness of CDAs. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a working paper published by the Center for Social Development at the University at Buffalo.

  • Individual Author: Isaacs, Julia; Katz, Michael; Minton, Sarah; Michie, Molly
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    This report reviews the need for subsidized child care in Massachusetts. Gaps between need and supply were identified by comparing estimates of children needing care to licensing and subsidy data. Additional information was collected through interviews with experts across the state. The report's findings include gaps for infant and toddler care, children in two of six sub-state regions, and families working nontraditional hours. It also highlighted challenges geographically matching needs and supply and the link between the child care subsidy system and the broader child care market. (author abstract)

    This report reviews the need for subsidized child care in Massachusetts. Gaps between need and supply were identified by comparing estimates of children needing care to licensing and subsidy data. Additional information was collected through interviews with experts across the state. The report's findings include gaps for infant and toddler care, children in two of six sub-state regions, and families working nontraditional hours. It also highlighted challenges geographically matching needs and supply and the link between the child care subsidy system and the broader child care market. (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: 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)

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