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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: Fitzpatrick, Katie; Thompson, Jeffrey P.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2010

    This paper explores the interaction between the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the cost-of-living faced by single mothers. After the 1993 EITC expansion, we identify up to an 8 percentage point increase in labor force participation for single mothers in the lowest cost areas but no discernible response in the highest cost areas. We conclude that the EITC’s welfare-enhancing properties are undermined by the interaction of the program’s fixed national rules and geographic variation in wages and the cost-of-living. In addition, our findings suggest that the EITC does little to reduce joblessness in many of the nation’s largest cities. (author abstract)

    This paper explores the interaction between the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the cost-of-living faced by single mothers. After the 1993 EITC expansion, we identify up to an 8 percentage point increase in labor force participation for single mothers in the lowest cost areas but no discernible response in the highest cost areas. We conclude that the EITC’s welfare-enhancing properties are undermined by the interaction of the program’s fixed national rules and geographic variation in wages and the cost-of-living. In addition, our findings suggest that the EITC does little to reduce joblessness in many of the nation’s largest cities. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Trampe, Paul
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2007

    This paper examines the effect on hours worked of the income-based phase-out of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). It discusses earlier literature on the subject. While the effects on labor force participation of EITC have been thoroughly studied, producing a consensus that the program encourages participation particularly among single women with children, the effect on hours has taken a back seat in most studies. Those who have studied the issue have generally found no effect. A number of those studies, however, were based on a population defined too broadly to indicate anything meaningful for the EITC population, while others seemed to overlook facets of their own data. I include a multiple regression using Current Population Survey Data cases in which family income corresponds to the phase-out range of EITC. Only in the phase-out range – as beneficiaries lose part of their benefits as a percentage of income above the threshold amount – would we expect a negative effect on...

    This paper examines the effect on hours worked of the income-based phase-out of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). It discusses earlier literature on the subject. While the effects on labor force participation of EITC have been thoroughly studied, producing a consensus that the program encourages participation particularly among single women with children, the effect on hours has taken a back seat in most studies. Those who have studied the issue have generally found no effect. A number of those studies, however, were based on a population defined too broadly to indicate anything meaningful for the EITC population, while others seemed to overlook facets of their own data. I include a multiple regression using Current Population Survey Data cases in which family income corresponds to the phase-out range of EITC. Only in the phase-out range – as beneficiaries lose part of their benefits as a percentage of income above the threshold amount – would we expect a negative effect on hours worked. My results show a small negative effect on hours worked for the population in the phase-out range. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Ventry, Dennis J. Jr.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2000

    This paper uses the political history and pre-history of the EITC to describe how the politics of welfare reform influence tax policies that function as social policy. It suggests that the economic tradeoffs inherent in the formulation of tax-transfer programs are also political tradeoffs. It examines policy choices between costs and labor supply incentives, as well as those between ease of participation and compliance rates. This paper concludes that although economic analysis influenced the creation and development of the EITC, political factors, not economics, animated the history of the program. (author abstract)

    This paper uses the political history and pre-history of the EITC to describe how the politics of welfare reform influence tax policies that function as social policy. It suggests that the economic tradeoffs inherent in the formulation of tax-transfer programs are also political tradeoffs. It examines policy choices between costs and labor supply incentives, as well as those between ease of participation and compliance rates. This paper concludes that although economic analysis influenced the creation and development of the EITC, political factors, not economics, animated the history of the program. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Blumenthal, Marsha; Erard, Brian; Ho, Chih–Chin
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2005

    We explore participation and compliance with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) using a unique administrative data source. Among eligible households with a legal filing requirement, we find that EITC participation is high and that it responded positively to the rise in real benefit amounts during the 1990s. Although participation has also improved among households with no legal filing obligation, it remains rather low and may actually be inferior to participation within more traditional welfare programs. Compliance with the EITC has been a persistent problem. We find that erroneous claims are much more common among households who satisfy some (but not all) program requirements. We find no evidence of a deterrent role by tax practitioners with respect to improper claims. (author abstract)

    We explore participation and compliance with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) using a unique administrative data source. Among eligible households with a legal filing requirement, we find that EITC participation is high and that it responded positively to the rise in real benefit amounts during the 1990s. Although participation has also improved among households with no legal filing obligation, it remains rather low and may actually be inferior to participation within more traditional welfare programs. Compliance with the EITC has been a persistent problem. We find that erroneous claims are much more common among households who satisfy some (but not all) program requirements. We find no evidence of a deterrent role by tax practitioners with respect to improper claims. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Meyer, Bruce D.; Rosenbaum, Dan T.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2001

    During 1984-96 there were enormous changes in welfare and tax policy. In particular, there were large; expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Medicaid, changes in the Aid to Families with Dependent; Children (AFDC) program and related training and child care programs. Many of the program changes were intended to; encourage low income women to work. During this same time period there were unprecedented increases in the; employment of single mothers, particularly those with young children. In this paper, we first document these large; changes in policies and employment. We then examine if the policy changes are the reason for the large increases in; single mothers’ employment. We find evidence that a large share of the increase in work by single mothers can be; attributed to the EITC, with smaller shares for welfare benefit reductions, welfare waivers, changes in training programs,; and child care expansions. Our results also indicate that financial incentives through the tax and welfare systems have; substantial effects on single mothers’ employment decisions. (...

    During 1984-96 there were enormous changes in welfare and tax policy. In particular, there were large; expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Medicaid, changes in the Aid to Families with Dependent; Children (AFDC) program and related training and child care programs. Many of the program changes were intended to; encourage low income women to work. During this same time period there were unprecedented increases in the; employment of single mothers, particularly those with young children. In this paper, we first document these large; changes in policies and employment. We then examine if the policy changes are the reason for the large increases in; single mothers’ employment. We find evidence that a large share of the increase in work by single mothers can be; attributed to the EITC, with smaller shares for welfare benefit reductions, welfare waivers, changes in training programs,; and child care expansions. Our results also indicate that financial incentives through the tax and welfare systems have; substantial effects on single mothers’ employment decisions. (Author abstract)

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